Barcelona Soccer Club Set to Beat Sales Goal on Broadcast Rights
(Bloomberg) -- Spanish soccer team FC Barcelona is likely to reach its goal of 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in sales ahead of schedule as income from broadcast rights and tickets surges, President Josep Bartomeu said.
The world’s third-largest soccer team may reach 900 million euros in revenue this season, a jump of more than 20 percent on the previous 12 months, Bartomeu said in a Bloomberg Television interview in London. The club is close to signing a sponsorship agreement to fund an upgrade of facilities including its stadium, said Bartomeu.
“We are going to 1 billion euros before 2021, which is good news for the club,” Bartomeu said before the team’s Champions’ League match against Chelsea. “It means that the industry of football is increasing, is growing and that is good for fans.”
Barcelona ranks third in accountant Deloitte’s annual list of soccer finances, with revenue of 648 million euros for the 2016-17 season, trailing its Spanish rival Real Madrid and Manchester United. The British club topped the table with sales of 676 million euros, according to Deloitte, which makes some adjustments so the figures are comparable.
The Catalan team found itself in the eye of a political storm in recent months as separatist leaders in its home region tried to engineer a split from the rest of Spain. Many supporters see the team as a symbol of Catalan pride and shouts of “in-de-pen-dence” punctuated matches at the team’s Camp Nou stadium.
“Sponsors aren’t worried about that,” said Bartomeu. “Players’ main concern is that we have to play and we have to be competitive.”
Bartomeu reiterated the club would not sell 30-year-old star Lionel Messi at any price after inserting a 700 million-euro buy-out clause in his contract last November. Bartomeu said he expects Messi to renew his current four-year deal when it expires and to “stay forever.”
Barcelona leads the Spanish league by seven points from Atletico Madrid, with Real Madrid in fourth position a further 10 points behind.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.