Barcelona target record turnover in bid to break €1bn mark
Barcelona predict they will end the 2016-17 season with a record revenue of €695 million, representing a two percent increase on the previous year in the Catalan club's continued bid to become the first club to break the €1 billion mark.
The Blaugrana posted revenue of €679m for the 2015-16 season, which is the current club record, blitzing the forecasted €633m and seeing a rise of 12 percent on the figures from the previous campaign.
President Josep Maria Bartomeu has regularly spoken of his desire for revenue to topple the billion euro mark by 2021 and the latest predictions are another small step towards achieving that target.
"There are no other clubs in the world, whether in football or in other sports, that think ahead more than one or two seasons," Bartomeu said in an interview with the Financial Times last year.
"But here at Barca we do. We want to be the first club to reach €1bn in revenue."
Barca -- who opened an office in New York in September in a bid to increase their business in the United States -- hope that marketing will play a key part in their growth in the coming years.
A statement released by the club on Wednesday explained: "The section with the most growth forecasted is that of marketing, in line with the process of internationalisation and boosting the club's brand. The goal is to raise revenue from sponsorship by more than €30m.
"With regards to media, an increase in income is expected from the new format of the distribution of television rights centralised by the Professional Football League (LFP) and regarding the operation of facilities, the Tour Experience and the Camp Nou hospitality should be highlighted."
Meanwhile, Barcelona's operating costs are predicted to total €663m this season, leaving the club with an operating profit of €32m, which after taxes will be reduced to €21m.
Contract renewals and the arrival of new players account for an increase in expenses, while non-sporting salaries are expected to rise as a result of the club's global expansion.
Real Madrid, Barca's biggest rival, posted their revenue for the 2015-16 season earlier this week, breaking the €600m mark for the first time in their history.
The figures released by Los Blancos showed that annual revenue had reached €620.1m, with cash reserves up to €212m and a pre-tax profit of €43m, with last year's €95.8m debt wiped out.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.