BARCELONA, Oct 2, (RTRS): FC Barcelona announced on Tuesday they have become the first sports club to post annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. La Liga champions Barcelona presented their annual accounts on Tuesday, showing earnings of $1.05 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year, breaking their own income record for the fifth successive year and posting a profit for the eighth consecutive year.
Barca said the rise in revenue was driven by increased income from television rights from the Champions League and the August 2017 sale of Brazilian forward Neymar to Paris St- Germain for a record 222 million euros ($257 million) transfer fee. The club also announced a record budget of $1.105 billion for this season, which needs to be approved at a general assembly on Oct 20. The club added that their debt amounted to $181.3 million as of June 30.
“The extraordinary income from payment of Neymar Jr’s buyout clause has been compensated in next year’s budget through improved commercial and sponsorship revenue, media rights, exploitation of the stadium and transfer of players,” the club said in a statement. “This is the first time that revenue has surpassed $1bn, a huge step up from 2016/17.” Spain’s La Liga remains committed to playing Barcelona’s league match with Girona in Miami, despite opposition to the plans, the organization’s president Javier Tebas told Reuters.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) has put the brakes on the league’s plans by demanding more information on January’s game, which must also be approved by the United States soccer federation and regional bodies UEFA and CONCACAF. “Playing in the United States is vital to our strategy there and we won’t relent on what is our right,” Tebas said in an exclusive interview at La Liga’s headquarters on Tuesday. “If you want to make your industry more global, as La Liga wants to, if you want to be among the biggest industries in world sport then you have to be immersed in the US market.