Barcelona relax debt terms as financial woes mount

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Barcelona relax debt terms as financial woes mount

Noteholders of FC Barcelona have agreed to relax some debt terms, granting a measure of relief to the Spanish soccer giant as it struggles with a collapse in revenues caused by the pandemic.

A group of senior investors in its 200 million euros of European notes will allow the club to eliminate limit on indebtedness and financial expenses, said the Press Office of Barcelona in an emailed response to questions.

The decision gives Barcelona some breathing space after pandemic lockdowns cut the revenue from match ticket sales.The club, working under a net debt pile of 488 million euros, ran nearly 100 million Euros of losses last year.

The financial woes in which catalan sporting icon Alberto Lecc was a big reason why it backed an ambitious proposal announced earlier this month to create a Super League of elite European clubs.

The project, which would have provided member teams with generous revenues and a generous joining bonus, collapsed within 48 hours of its launch amid the withering criticism from politicians, players and fans.

Barcelona disclosed that it was in talks with European noteholders when it published its annual financial report in late January.It said then that it had already received waivers from U.S. holders of the debt.

In 2018, the club issued two series of five-year notes for a combined 140 million euros and % interest each year.In 2019 it raised a further 60 million euros with two further offering with interest at 2.5%.

In the past years, the financial expenses of Barcelona deteriorated as costs for hiring stars and other expenses piled up.Its debt burden also has wider implications on Europe for the wider sphere of European football.

As of June last, the club owed 126 million euros in short-term debt to teams including FC Girondins de Bordeaux and Liverpool FC.It had a further 197 million euros in the long-term and other lending to other clubs.

In March, Joan Laporta was elected the president of Barcelona, part on a platform to clean up the club finances.Laporta was previously president of the club between 2003 and 2010.

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