Joan Laporta opens up on Barcelona finances amid questions over summer transfers, and says LaLiga giants still want European Super League

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed how the Catalan giants are able to bring in new signings, despite their financial woes.

    However, while the chief insists Barca are on the road to becoming financially stable again, he has admitted the club still want the European Super League to go ahead.

    Lewandowski’s arrival from Bayern raised questions from fans

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    Lewandowski’s arrival from Bayern raised questions from fans

    The club are currently in the midst of arguably their most important summer since the 60-year-old first came to power in 2003.

    Returning president Laporta, along with sporting director Mateu Alemany, and his team have been tasked with helping Barca return to their best and former glories.

    The Nou Camp side have been very active in the transfer window, bringing in prolific striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and Raphinha from Leeds United.

    And it appears they are not finished there, with Barcelona set to beat Chelsea to the signing of French centre-back Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

    It raised questions amongst many as to how the club were able to afford to bring in the players, given their financial situation, with reports they are up to €1.173billion in debt.

    On Friday, though, Barcelona sold a further 15 per cent of their domestic television rights to global investment firm Sixth Street with the deal worth around €320million [£272m], according to ESPN.

    The club also drafted in Raphinha from Leeds

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    The club also drafted in Raphinha from Leeds

    That’s on top of the ten per cent they sold to Sixth Street at the end of June, for a fee of around €207.5m – meaning the investment firm have now acquired 25 per cent of Barcelona’s TV rights.

    The club is also planning to sell off 49.9 per cent of its licensing and merchandising division for a fee of around €200m to help raise further funds.

    The problem the Catalan giants have this summer is not signing players, but registering them, due to the nature of LaLiga’s spending rules which the club is currently in breach of.

    However, the funds generated by those deals will help push Barcelona’s finances into an area which will allow the registering of new signings and begin to transform their fortunes on and off the pitch.

    And Laporta has opened up on that situation, as he answered questions about the club’s – apparently easing – financial woes.

    Laporta is overseeing a huge overhaul at the Nou Camp

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    Laporta is overseeing a huge overhaul at the Nou Camp

    “At the moment, we have a positive net worth – in about a month, we have earned close to €650m [£552m],” the president said in an interview with ESPN Spain.

    “We’ve had to move fast. The TV rights were sold, 25 per cent of them, and that has added important revenue. The club is on path to being sound; financially the club is better with the money that’s come in, and we’ve been able to pay back €100m of the credit we had through Goldman Sachs.

    “What’s more, it needs to be said, the club is back to being sound economically, but we have to work harder to increase our earnings, not from selling shares but not by profiting through them.”

    Meanwhile, Barcelona defeated arch-rivals Real Madrid 1-0 in a pre-season friendly on Saturday in Las Vegas, with new recruit Raphinha netting his first goal for the club.

    The Brazilian netted his first for Barca as they beat Real Madrid 1-0 on Saturday

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    The Brazilian netted his first for Barca as they beat Real Madrid 1-0 on Saturday

    Barca face Juventus on Wednesday in Dallas, and all three sides remain committed to the European Super League.

    The trio still remains embroiled in a legal dispute with UEFA and FIFA over the ill-fated proposed league, which faced an enormous backlash from supporters.

    The Court of Justice of the European Union will rule next year on whether the governing bodies can go ahead and block the clubs from joining the breakaway league, as well as players.

    “Right now we have a calm approach about it, not wanting to upset anyone, encouraging dialogue with institutions in Europe, be they political or sport, and make it the most attractive competition in the world,” Laporta said.

    “It’s got be be an open one, and we at Barcelona have said that. We’re also going to respect the state bodies in Europe, UEFA in this case.

    Chelsea expressed their angers at the Super League idea

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    Chelsea expressed their angers at the Super League idea

    Liverpool supporters also displayed their thoughts, and both teams were two of many

    AFP

    Liverpool supporters also displayed their thoughts, and both teams were two of many

    “We’re open to discussion, but what it is going to be is a competition where the clubs will be able to exercise their power to make their own decisions.

    “At the end of it, we are the ones that are supporting the weight of what is European football.

    “That’s where it can be the most attractive competition in the world if we do it right, and I’m sure we’re going to do it right because the law protects us.

    “Additionally, the clubs have reached a point where we have to come up with rules that allow us to compete with state-owned clubs whose resources don’t come from football but through other industries, so they distort European football and make all this unsustainable.

    “Clubs with the pedigree and history like Juve and Barca see a threat from these clubs that throw money at the problem and distort the market.”

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