Football: Barcelona break billion dollar revenue barrier

Barcelona players celebrating a goal during a La Liga match against Alaves at the Camp Nou stadium.
Barcelona players celebrating a goal during a La Liga match against Alaves at the Camp Nou stadium.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (REUTERS) - FC Barcelona announced on Tuesday (Oct 2) it has become the first sports club to post annual revenues exceeding US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion).

La Liga champions Barcelona presented their annual accounts on Tuesday, showing earnings of US$1.05 billion for the 2017/18 fiscal year, breaking its own income record for the fifth successive year and posting a profit for the eighth consecutive year.

Barca said the rise in revenue was driven by increased income from television rights from the Champions League and the August 2017 sale of Brazilian forward Neymar to Paris St Germain for a record €222 million (S$300 million) transfer fee.

The club also announced a record budget of US$1.105 billion for this season, which needs to be approved at a general assembly on Oct 20.

The club added that its debt amounted to US$181.3 million as of June 30.

"The extraordinary income from payment of Neymar Jr's buyout clause has been compensated in next year's budget through improved commercial and sponsorship revenue, media rights, exploitation of the stadium and transfer of players," the club said in a statement.

"This is the first time that revenue has surpassed US$1billion, a huge step up from 2016/17."