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The hidden reason why Barcelona may sell Ansu Fati instead of Ferran Torres

It’s about FFP

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

FC Barcelona is considering selling one of Ferran Torres or Ansu Fati, possibly both, but there may be a “hidden” reason why it could be Fati and not Torres who is shown the exit door.

It has to do with Financial Fair Play regulations, which govern who Barcelona can and cannot register.

First, let’s explain a concept called amortization. This is a process in accounting in which the cost of purchasing an asset is written off over time. In football terms, it means the cost of buying a player’s contract is written off over the length of the contract the player signs. That means if you sign a player for 50 million euro, and he signs a contract for 5 years, you can write it off as costing 10 million per year.

This is different than paying a fee to the selling club in installments, and should not be confused with stories that relate to how much was paid to Manchester City at which time to buy Torres. It’s a separate issue.

All in all, his transfer will cost around 55 million. He was signed to a 5.5 year contract. The actual numbers are more complicated, but for simplicity’s sake, this works nicely.

So, then, his value is amortized as 10 million a season for the next few years. With 1.5 years completed, there are 40 million left to amortize over the next 4 years.

This means that, should he be sold for less than 40 million, in terms of FFP, the team would be losing money. For example, if he were sold for 25 million, since his remaining value is 40 million, that would result in a 15 million loss on the books.

Now, there is salary savings to be had there. And of course, selling now might be better for the team’s coffers than later, if his value on the market drops further and they can’t command a higher fee. But a potential sale would not generate the FFP space Barça want.

And then there’s Fati. Because Fati is an academy player, there is no transfer fee to amortize. So, selling him would generate FFP space in a much more efficient way. Any amount he was sold for would result in revenue on the books, helping the team’s FFP situation.

There are other factors at play here, of course. One key one is whether each player has buyers, and what they are willing to offer. Another is whether the players themselves are willing to leave for the clubs that make offers.

But the one hidden aspect that has contributed a lot is the FFP situation.

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