Things are looking rosy for Barcelona off the pitch.
It has been a tricky start to the season for La Blaugrana on it but news of record revenue returns for the 2017-18 fiscal year has underlined the Catalan giants’ growing financial muscle in world sport.
The Camp Nou club confirmed it raked in $1.05 billion (€914 million) in revenues during the period, making them the first professional sports team to surpass the billion dollar mark.
In this same period, Barcelona’s operating income (before taxes and other costs) stood at $204 million, making a cool after-tax profit of $15 million.
Even eternal rivals Real Madrid are left in Barca’s wake, given Real’s top revenue turnover so far is $892 million.
And for the upcoming year ahead, president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his wider team have not reigned in their off-the-field targets, with club hierarchy budgeting a revenue return of $1.105 billion (€960 million) for the 2018-19 campaign, as well as an operating income of $220 million (€191m).
Remarkably, according to Barca’s long-term strategic plan – which includes a complete world-class renovation of the Camp Nou to be ready for the 2022-23 season – they expect to reach a €1bn revenue sum by 2021.
In the small print, towards the end of Barca’s media release, it stated the world-record fee received for Neymar last summer (€222 million) and additional rights, would be incorporated into the budget for this season.
The clash brings back happy memories for the Catalans who have spoken in reverence of returning to the national stadium for the first time since their 2011 domination of Manchester United in the Champions League final.
That 3-1 battering of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side is used as a yardstick for the subsequent failures in Europe with Lionel Messi and Co. desperate to rectify their Champions League drought this season.
And ahead of the clash midfielder Ivan Rakitic said he hoped to continue the side’s positive history at Wembley.
Check out the video below to see what the Croatian had to say…
Barcelona’s hopes of landing France midfielder Adrien Rabiot have increased again after he rejected a third contract offer from Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.
Rabiot, 23, has been resistant to the Ligue 1 champions’ overtures as they attempt to prevent him leaving on a free transfer when his terms expire in summer 2019.
Mundo Deportivo have stated that his spurning of a deal worth €7.2 million per annum means Barca could arrange a cut-price transfer in January. If not then, they’d swoop for nothing at the end of 2018/19.
Rabiot has scored 12 times in 144 Ligue 1 appearance since his 2012 debut.