Football

Dubai Firm Offers FC Barcelona £1.2 Billion To Clear Debt

Joan Laporta

Financial trouble dogging one-time La Liga giants FC Barcelona could be over going by a generous offer by a Dubai-based company.

Reports by Spanish media 8tv on its El Cururbito program, a company in Dubai has an offer to buy Barca’s total debt of £1.2bn (€1.5billion).

Hard Decision

This leaves the club’s president Joan Laporta with a hard decision to make regarding the offer.

The Catalan club financial woes came to the fore during the Summer Transfer window when Lionel Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

Messi played for Barcelona since his teenage days and left after over a decade.

With Messi’s exit, Laporta came clean about the club’s cash crunch. He said that they are undertaking cost-cutting measures to save Barca from imminent collapse.

Lionel Messi

Former Barcelona player Lionel Messi. [Eurosport]

What Is On Offer?

The debt buyout offer from the Dubai firm gives Barcelona a 2-12 year period to complete a moratorium. This is one of the conditions the offer presents according to reports by Mirror UK.

Pundits argue that it is a sound offer that will help save Barcelona’s face. Should Laporta agree to it, £1.2bn will be wired instantly to the club.

The ripple effect this brings is stability – the only paramount thing for Camp Nou at the moment. It would also address fears among players, fans and other stakeholders who are worried sick of the club’s future.

Public perception has not been the same since the summer transfer when the financial crisis of the club came to the fore.

However, the new offer could put all this to an end in an instant. But, is it that easy?

Rejected Offer

Days back, Laporta turned down a proposal to fund the club to billions of euros in a revenue-sharing deal. It involved Lala Liga and CVC – a private equity firm.

Reports have it that the interest rate was too high and made the proposal unappealing for Barcelona. CVC would issue a €2.7bn (£2.3bn) funding to the club in return for 10% of its revenue. And a further 10% stake in Barcelona’s other income-generating activities.

In a statement, Barcelona said that this whole proposal was not well-thought-out.

“The terms of the contract that La Liga is describing condemn Barcelonas future with regard to broadcasting rights.

“FC Barcelona wishes to express its surprise at an agreement driven by La Liga in which the teams’ opinions, including those of FC Barcelona, have not been taken into account.”

Referencing its other businesses that touch on viewership, the Catalan club stated that the amount on offer is not commensurate.

“FC Barcelona considers that the operation that has been announced has not been sufficiently discussed with the clubs [the owners of the TV rights], that the amount is not congruent with the years of duration, and the deal affects part of all clubs’ audiovisual rights for the next 50 years.”

Joan Laporta

FC Barcelona owner Joan Laporta. [Barca Blaugranes]

What Next For FC Barcelona?

With the Dubai firm proposal, its interest rates are low and more attractive for Barcelona. They are what the club needs to make a sound decision on whether to accept the deal or not.

On the brighter note, injection of the funds into the club will have everything get back to normal for FC Barcelona seemingly on its deathbed.

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