Barca could reverse financial situation within a year, says president


MADRID, Aug 16 - FC Barcelona could reverse their poor financial situation within a year and a half, President Joan Laporta told a news conference on Monday. He said the club left 451 million euros in red last year.

I reckon that the club will be healthy in a couple of years, he told reporters, adding that the team have many potential sponsorship deals open to them.

with their finances in dire straits after years of wage inflation and expensive transfers, the club could not afford to renew its contract with star striker Lionel Messi, leading to his shock departure to Paris StGermain last week.

Still, Laporta said he was optimistic for the future, stressing that the club had many options open to it, including some 17 investors interested in Barca Studios, which grouped the club's audiovisual businesses and serves as a hub for events.

We have a lot of proposals and this is obviously encouraging, our morale is very high, he said.

Barca's previous management had contracted investment bank Goldman Sachs to seek potential investors for the club's commercial arm but none of the proposals were satisfactory, Laporta said.

The club's debts total 1.35 billion euro, of which 673 million are owed to banks, Laporta said.

Last week Reuters reported that CVC had agreed to lend 1 billion euros to the private equity firm Goldman's planned multibillion euro investment in Spain's top soccer league LaLiga, a deal which Barcelona opted out of.

Along with rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, Barca voted against the proposal at a general assembly on Thursday.

Laporta had previously slammed the deal as mortgaging the club's television rights for the next 50 years, even though the cash injection could have allowed Messi to stay at Camp Nou.