Barca may have to field players they’been trying to sell in LaLiga opener


Barcelona might have to field some of the players they have been trying to push out of the club because they are struggling to register all their new signings before the first game of the season.

Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay are two of the players they have been keen to sell but Xavi might want the Dutch internationals if he is unable to count on all five of the club’s new signings.

As of close of play in Spain on Thursday none of the new arrivals had been registered with La Liga. Barcelona are still sure they will be able to register Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde before the end of the month.

But they are in danger of not being to register all of the signings before Saturday night’s home match with Rayo Vallecano.

‘There will be no problem in registering all the players we have signed. We are on the right road (to doing that),’ said president Joan Laporta on Sunday.

But on Thursday, he was in late-night talks with his board in a restaurant in Barcelona discussing the way forward after so far failing to satisfy La Liga’s financial fairplay regulations.

Barça’s problems have come in part because their valuation of the new revenue they have secured this summer is over and above La Liga’s valuation.

The club sold 25 per cent of future TV rights but there was a difference of opinion when it came to deciding how much money they had raised from it. They declared 667m euros but La Liga only accepted 517m euros.

The difference can be explained by them forming a spin-off company called Locksley Invest with the US investment fund Sixth Street of which Barça and Sixth Street both own 50 per cent.

Twenty-five per cent of Barça’s future TV rights income were sold by Locksley to Sixth Street for 517m euros. Barça then paid 150m to buy them back in 25 years time and declared that 150m euros in new revenue but La Liga accepted only the 517m deeming the other 150m to be the club buying from themselves, in effect.

That meant Barcelona had to either sell Frenkie de Jong or sell a further 25 per cent of their production company Barça Studios and they have yet to do those two things.

Gerard Pique has taken a pay cut and there are moves to persuade other veterans to do likewise but as of yet they have not done enough to satisfy La Liga.

Barcelona are likely to send documentation on Friday and will then hope La Liga give them the green light. Players must be registered within four hours of Saturday’s 9pm local time kick-off.

They are not the only club who have struggled to register new players. Atletico Madrid had a problem registering Antoine Griezmann because La Liga insisted on including money they will have to pay for him when they buy him out right at the end of the season. Betis, meanwhile, are yet to register six players including new signings and players given new deals.


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