Barcelona activates the fourth financial lever to register new signings

6:29 AM ET

Sam Marsden

Moises Llorens

Barcelona have sold a further 24.5% of Barca Studios to Orpheus Media for €100m in a bid to book all their new signings for Saturday’s LaLiga game against Rayo Vallecano.

Barca have seven players not registered for the first game of the season, but sources say they hope the situation can be resolved now.

LaLiga will review the documents to see if everyone, including €45m signing Robert Lewandowski, can now be registered.

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Barca would still need to reduce their wage bill slightly to ensure everyone is available to face Rayo, but this could be done through an adjustment to Gerard Piqué’s salary, with talks at an advanced stage.

It is the fourth “financial lever” that Barça has pulled this summer. They previously sold 24.5% of Barca Studios to and sold 25% of their domestic TV rights to Sixth Street over 25 years in two separate deals worth over €500m.

Barça hoped that the agreements with and Sixth Street would allow them to register all the players signed in the transfer market with LaLiga.

They were in talks with GDA Luma to sell another 24.5% of Barca Studios, but as talks stalled, they had to look elsewhere this week.


August 13 Vallecano (H)August 21 Real Sociedad (A)August 28 Valladolid (H)September 4 Seville (A)September 11 Cadiz (A)September 18 Elche (H)

Orpheus Media is owned by Catalan businessman Jaume Roures, who also helped Barça president Joan Laporta secure the guarantee to become club president in March 2021. The Catalan club has spent more than 150 million of euros in Lewandowski, Refinha and Jules Kounde, while Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen have arrived on free transfers.

Meanwhile, Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele have signed new contracts, but the Spanish League has yet to ratify any deal.

Barca faced a similar scenario last year, when Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia signed up on the eve of the campaign after Piqué accepted a pay cut.

The three levers pulled so far this summer, as a league source confirmed to ESPN, would have allowed Barça to register some of these seven players, although who and how many would have depended on the combination.

A club source said that Barça’s preference was always to be able to register all players at the same time. There is optimism that it will now be possible and, in addition to the agreement with Roures, talks are being held with Piqué and Sergio Busquets about new salary cuts to make salary space.

Barça must comply with LaLiga’s spending limit. It was -144 million euros at the end of last season, the only negative limit in Spain, but after the sale of assets this summer, it should rise significantly for the new campaign.

Barca Studios is the club’s own production company but is also branching out, with Barca saying the deal with earlier this month will also “accelerate the club’s audiovisual, blockchain, NFT and Web3 strategy “.


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