Barça and Real Madrid ask the State for new oxygen for 300 million

The FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, once lost the millionaire life preserver of the Superliga, have decided to embrace the coverage that taxpayers offer. Both clubs have benefited from the moratorium approved by the Government last week. In this way, they will delay the return of 300 million euros —100 from the Barça club and 200 from the white team— which they requested last year with the endorsement of the Official Credit Institute (ICO) to face the ravages of the pandemic in the football business, according to sources familiar with the operations.

Joan Laporta He met at the end of last week with the creditor banks to update them on the critical financial situation of Fútbol Club Barcelona. The meeting served as preparation for a match against the dog, given the short-term expiration of more than 600 million euros, and to adopt the first emergency measure: to take advantage of the new moratorium on ICO credits, which allows agreement up to a quita, of which, if necessary, the Spanish State would take charge.

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The new president of FC Barcelona summoned the bank to the meeting, to which he was accompanied by Ferran Reverter, the new acting CEO, and Maribel Melendez, the corporate director, recently hired from CaixaBank, where she was the financial director of one of the bank’s real estate agencies that managed toxic brick. Laporta exposed the treasury tensions of the club and the need to refinance the current debt, especially the one that expires this summer for about 600 million.

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The culé lawyer informed them that Barça needs patience and new lines of financing to be able to undertake a reform of the squad for the 2021-2022 season, as well as their collaboration in the remodeling project of the Camp Nou. Known as Espai Barça requires a loan of 815 million, that Goldman Sachs will lead, but in which the main national banks will participate, such as CaixaBank, Santander, Sabadell and BBVA. But the banks told him that, before sitting down to talk about more money, they need to have a business plan on the repayment terms so that it can be approved by the risk committees of each entity.

The president of the Barça club told them that, as soon as the internal audit is finished and the real encephalogram of the Barça company is known, they will sit down again to specify the details. But he has already announced that the losses of this 2020-2021 campaign will be much greater than those estimated by the previous board of directors and that they may exceed 200 million euros. Some numbers that will lead the sports institution ‘blaugrana’ to end the fiscal year (next June 30) with a negative equity of at least 160 million. That is, to be officially in technical bankruptcy.

To postpone payments, a vital issue given the drought of the box, Laporta informed the banks that FC Barcelona was taking advantage of the rule approved last week by the Government to return the loans guaranteed by the State through the ICO granted last year after the outbreak of the pandemic. Barça requested 100 million to survive the loss of income from the closure of its sports facilities and the subsequent obligation to play games without an audience. And initially it should now begin to amortize said amount.

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Photo: Sergio Ramos and Leo Messi, in a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.  (EFE)

But the club has embraced the new moratorium that allows repaying the loan in 10 years and having at least two years of grace in the payment of the principal. In addition, if the drop in turnover is 30% and the year ends in losses, the company can request a write-off from creditors, a condition that Barça fully complies with.

With this measure, the club gains time to renegotiate a global agreement on more than 1,000 million gross that it owes, in the short and long term, while applying a deep renewal of the squad. In fact, it has already communicated to Goldman Sachs that next August 16 will not be able to return the 90 million that the US bank advanced to build the Johan Cruyff Stadium, where the lower category teams and the female team play, the first stone of the Espai Barça project. Money that he should have paid last summer and for which he already asked for an extension.

White agreement with five banks

The situation of Real Madrid is not as dramatic as that of its eternal sports rival. It has a net worth of 533 million. But his vital signs also breathe a weak cash situation. The white club is going to close the 2020-2021 course with close to 100 million losses, which is why it has also decided to take advantage of the new moratorium on ICOs. The entity chaired by Real Madrid, immersed in the renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, With a loan of 585 million, it requested last year 205 million, 70% guaranteed by the Government.

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Of this last amount, 155 million correspond to four loans with a maturity of five years, and 50 million, to a credit policy that expired in 2023. Real Madrid requested these financing lines from five national banks, with which you have now agreed to extend the amortization up to a maximum of 10 years and take advantage of the two-year grace period to start paying from April and May 2022.

The FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, once lost the millionaire life preserver of the Superliga, have decided to embrace the coverage that taxpayers offer. Both clubs have benefited from the moratorium approved by the Government last week. In this way, they will delay the return of 300 million euros —100 from the Barça club and 200 from the white team— which they requested last year with the endorsement of the Official Credit Institute (ICO) to face the ravages of the pandemic in the football business, according to sources familiar with the operations.

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