Barcelona have admitted they had to take a loan out to pay for the signing of Antoine Griezmann underlining how difficult they would have found any purchase of €200million-rated Neymar this summer.
The club’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted at Griezmann’s presentation:
‘The club has taken out a six-month unsecured loan for €35m and the remaining €85m [is covered by] anticipating payments yet to be received.’
The latter practice is known as factoring – a financial tool whereby a third party effectively buys an invoice yet to be paid so that it can later cash it as a profit. Barcelona are due money for players such as Andre Gomes from Everton. Factoring enables them to have that money up front.
Last week the club deposited €120m at the offices of the Spanish League to release Griezmann from his contract.
On Sunday when he was presented Bartomeu explained how Barcelona raised the money to pay the sum up front, as was necessary to activate the buy-out clause.
The need for the loan and the intricate financial engineering highlights the fact that the club have no money to spend on transfers this summer having already bought Frenkie de Jong.
It explains why director Oscar Grau met with Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin to ask to pay in instalments. A request that was denied by Atletico Madrid.
It also highlights how the club are not able to buy Neymar back this summer unless Paris Saint-Germain accept players in exchange instead of cash payment.