While Spain’s top football clubs are battling for much-needed new funding, a clear winner is already emerging: Goldman Sachs.

The US lender will maintain a € 1 billion ($ 1.6 billion) syndicated loan facility to fund CVC Capital Partners’ investment in Spain’s top football league. The deal follows shortly after a Goldman Sachs-led private placement for FC Barcelona, ​​one of the most traditional clubs in La Liga and an opponent of the CVC plan because of concerns about the loss of broadcasting funds.

Lionel Messi, who wanted to stay at Barcelona, ​​collapsed at the press conference. Credit:Getty

The pandemic has brought European football clubs to their knees, hit by a sudden drop in sales, while still paying players high salaries. Barcelona shocked the sports world last week when their most famous player, Lionel Messi, left the Catalan club because he couldn’t keep him financially.

Meanwhile, the precarious state of football finances offers investment banks an opportunity to earn fees by attracting new investors to fill an urgent void. Goldman Sachs’s involvement follows a failed attempt to sell a stake in Italy’s top league – for which the bank had planned funding – and JPMorgan Chase’s ill-fated support for the breakaway European Super League.

Goldman Sachs has been working to find new lenders for Barcelona for months. According to experts, the private placement of 525 million euros of already valued bonds will be completed next week. They asked not to be named as they are not allowed to speak about the transaction, which will help the club refinance debt and increase liquidity. Barcelona and Goldman Sachs spokesmen declined to comment.


The New York-based bank also leads the loan consortium for CVC’s investment, which will give the private equity firm an interest in a new company that will house all of the Spanish Football League companies, subsidiaries and joint ventures.

The deal was approved on Thursday with the support of 38 out of 42 clubs, with Barcelona and Real Madrid among the teams that were eliminated. The two largest clubs in the country feared that they would lose part of their broadcasting rights for the next 50 years. Real Madrid announced this week that they would take legal action against CVC.

This means that CVC’s investments, originally set at 2.7 billion euros, will be cut to 2.1 billion euros, said the chairman of the league, Javier Tebas, in a press conference on Thursday.