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Joan Laporta – Barcelona can recover financially in few years

FC Barcelona could reverse its deteriorating financial situation in a year and a half, President Joan Laporta said at a news conference on Monday, after announcing that the club ended 451 million euros ($531 million) last year. “I think the club will recover in a few years,” he told reporters, adding that the football team has several potential sponsorships offers open.

With struggling finances, salary inflation, and years of costly transfers, the club could not afford to renew its contract with star striker Lionel Messi, which led to his blowout at Paris Saint-Germain last week. However, Joan Laporta said he was optimistic about the future, noting that Barcelona has several open options, including about 17 investors interested in Barca Studios, which groups the club’s audiovisual business and serves as a hub for events.

“We have so many offers and it’s obviously encouraging, our morale is very high,” he said. Laporta mentioned Barca’s previous management had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to look for potential investors for the commercial side of the club, but none of the offers were satisfactory. The president added the club’s total debt stood at 1.35 billion euros, of which 673 million are due to banks.

Last week, Reuters reported that Goldman had agreed to lend €1 billion for a planned €1 billion investment by private equity firm CVC in Spain’s top football league, LaLiga, a deal Barcelona has abandoned. Barca, along with rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, voted against the proposal at a general meeting on Thursday. Laporta had previously criticized the deal as “mortgaging the club’s television rights for the next 50 years”, even though the cash injection could allow Messi to stay at the Camp Nou.

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