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Barça's levers and grandmother's jewels

The Catalan club is paying for the consequences of the most disastrous management in its history by selling its most valuable assets
Joan Laporta

PHOTO/@JoanLaportaFCB  -   El presidente del FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, en la celebración del 50 aniversario del Palau Blaugrana, octubre de 2021

Barcelona are facing a summer where they can make the best signings in their history. The arrival of Lewandowski, Raphina, Bernardo Silva, Soler, Di Maria and even Neymar could return to the club he left for 222 million euros.

All of that can be executed with a debt of millions and the will of Javier Tebas divided between being strict so that the club does not get into debt and complies with the rules or turning a blind eye and allowing the arrival of stars to add lustre to a declining competition.

The jokes about the levers Barça has to activate to be able to sign are the joke of the summer. It's all laughs and even 'the levers' have become the signing of the summer.

Nobody remembers when Miguel surnamed Palanca played up front alongside Drenthe in a 2008 Clasico where Juande Ramos' Real Madrid were very depleted and ended up losing 2-0.

The fact that a home-grown player with the surname Palanca was the Real Madrid striker was a source of derision, the same derision that 14 years later is made by Real Madrid fans about how their greatest rival has to sell everything it has to survive at the highest level.

Because the Barça of Laporta and Xavi could avoid selling grandma's jewels, but they would be a lesser team playing in the Europa League and stagnating in the top half of the league until their finances were restored in five years' time.

Barça has those jewels that noble families tend to bequeath from generation to generation. A safe-conduct when the going gets tough. Just what Bartomeu caused, astronomical salaries for players who barely performed.

The first jewel Barça has sold is 10% of the television rights for the next 25 years for 267 million euros.

The second lever is to sell the exploitation of its merchandising licences through the company Barça Licensing & Merchandising (BLM). If it gets rid of 49%, it will earn almost 300 million euros. All of this would add up to the desired 500 million euros with which to go on a shopping spree and burst the market.

To this must be added the income from Spotify advertising both on the shirt and in the stadium. An amount that will improve when the new Camp Nou is finished to 435 million euros.

Because Barcelona does not deprive itself of anything and has already approved the work on a stadium that is falling apart, as the images of the worn VIP seats show when they focus on the players.

Barça is not economic doping as can happen with PSG or City, in their case they have to resort to selling precious assets to bring in money. It compromises the long-term future because of bad management of the past. The inertia of the market prevents him from going from ocean liner to sailing ship.

The history of Spanish football does not allow for wasteful spending. The debts with the tax authorities that made many clubs so angry for years have already been paid off. Now the red numbers are controlled and nobody spends more than they generate.

For many, the big question remains as to how Barça has been allowed to reach this situation with the tight financial control that LaLiga boasts. Someone thought that the ability to generate money was going to be greater than the ability to get into debt and opened their hand.

Now it is the levers that can resurrect the dead, while the club from which Palanca left to make a living playing football until his retirement at Avilés in 2020 watches unperturbed as their rivals are ruined.