SOCCER

Barcelona: How exactly do they afford their summer spending spree?

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Barcelona pleaded poverty before bringing in Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Co on big deals, baffled Bayern Munich and tussled with Chelsea over Jules Kounde… so how exactly can they afford this with no money ?

  • Barcelona have been a force in the market this summer despite their finances
  • They’ve signed a host of big-name players, including Lewandowski and Raphinha
  • But how could they afford this summer spending spree?
  • sports mail look how the Nou Camp outfit did all this without money

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Nobody expected Barcelona to be the driving force in the transfer market, but that’s how things turned out.

Their purchase of Robert Lewandowski prompted Bayern Munich to pre-purchase Sadio Mane.

They took on Andreas Christensen and will sign Cesar Azpilicueta to make way for Chelsea’s major defensive overhaul, but brushed them aside with their successful pursuit of Raphinha, leaving Chelsea to sign Raheem Sterling.

sports mail look at how they did it all with no money and investigate how much the mortgage on the club’s future has allowed them to be Europe’s big spenders this summer.

Barcelona have been a force in the market this summer despite the claim of poverty ahead of them

Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann said this week: “It’s the only club in the world without money but buying all the players they want.” Is he right to moan?

Well, it’s not strictly true that Barcelona could buy whoever they wanted.

They wanted Erling Haaland to be remembered and had to settle for Lewandowski – two great strikers but for completely different purposes in their careers.

They also want Bernardo Silva and Jules Kounde, but the former seems to be beyond their reach and to get the latter he would have to insist on going to Barcelona with less money than he would get at Chelsea, who are now the favorites to sign him.

Julian Nagelsmann fired parting shot suggesting Barcelona were treated differently

Julian Nagelsmann fired parting shot suggesting Barcelona were treated differently

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is an important target for Chelsea but Barca are also interested

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is an important target for Chelsea but Barca are also interested

But they still signed Christensen, Franck Kessie, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and now Lewandowski. Didn’t the club plead poverty at the start of the summer by making us all believe that by dint of talking about certain players, it looked like they wouldn’t get anyone?

Club chairman Joan Laporta says the club will not sign anyone unless members allow it to mortgage its future – selling 49% of the merchandising arm and a total of 25% of future TV rights revenue .

What’s confusing is that those deals haven’t been done, two of them haven’t even been announced yet, and yet they’re spending money.

So the plan is to get the players in and sign the deals?

It appears so. It’s also possible that for Barcelona to complete these deals, they need to convince potential investors that they will be an attractive team this season.

The sight of smiling Lewandowski in Barcelona club kit will make the merchandising deal easier.

Laporta has already sold 10% of future TV rights to US investment firm Sixth Street Partners in a deal worth £176m (€207m) and Laporta is set to sign with the San Francisco-based investment fund in the coming days. Another 15% should follow.

The three deals in total will fetch between £510m and £595m and it’s what has put Barcelona back in a position where they can buy players without having to sell first.

Club chairman Joan Laporta has already sold 10 per cent of future TV rights to US investment firm Sixth Street Partners in a deal worth £176million.

Club chairman Joan Laporta has already sold 10 per cent of future TV rights to US investment firm Sixth Street Partners in a deal worth £176million.

Raphinha joined in a £55m deal earlier this month

The sight of smiling Lewandowski in Barcelona club kit will ease merchandising deal

The sight of Lewandowski (right) and Raphinha (left) smiling in Barcelona club kit will help with the merchandising deal

But until the agreements are signed, they cannot register players?

Exactly and it can even be used as a tactic to pressure players such as Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay to leave this summer. We cannot register players unless you go there.

So what happens by the end of August?

They have to finish activating these so-called economic levers and they have to buy a defender.

Chelsea are in a better position to sign Kounde, but it should help Barcelona complete the signing of Azpilicueta. Then they will try to fend off Depay and the Frenkie de Jong saga will continue until deadline day.

Chelsea better placed to sign Kounde but it should help Barca sign Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea better placed to sign Kounde but it should help Barca sign Cesar Azpilicueta

Is the drama not over yet?

It was set to be the most boring summer in the club’s history. This proves anything but that. Barcelona are playing a risky game balancing sales with signings.

The long-term risks aren’t great (Lewandowski on a four-year contract!) but in the short term, Xavi will end up with a team that can compete.

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