Barça's Xavi real estate firm loses steam


Famed trophy-hunter ready to quit Catalan giants after alleged financial distress eased after €9.5 capital expansion

Xavi Hernández, junto a sus padres y su hermano Àlex

07 de julio de 2014 (16:24 CET)

The FCB maestro Xavi Hernandez is ready to quit the Catalan giants this summer if events play out as football pundits predict. The best midfielder ever in Spanish football has decided to seek luck elsewhere after a lacklustre year in which neither the club nor the Spanish national team have clinched any trophies. In the wake of poor performances put in by Xavi, the player has come under heavy criticism.
As media outlets in Spain trained their guns at the once-unbeatable star, he decided to pack and move to Kuwait. Diario Gol can now reveal that he made that decision amid financial distress.

Indeed, Galileu 136 SL, the player's real estate venture, reported a slump in sales by 40% over the past two years. The firm's books show an overall turnover of €4.1 million for 2012. Scarcely a year later, the total output figure shrunk to €2.4 million. It is believed that the pitiful situation the Spanish real estate is largely to blame for the company's woes. Also, experts have blamed a more-than-controversial management record.

€9.5 million capital expansion

Though sales nearly halved in just two years, the company has stayed afloat thanks to a €9.5 million capital expansion the player conducted on February, 3, 2012. That year, net profits totalled €778,223, just €110,000 more than a year earlier. Similarly, the gross profits rate (Ebitda) hit the €1.6 million mark, up from €1.4 million in 2012.

The player has turned the firm around after some years literally on the floor. During that rough path, however, the real estate venture was able to absorb Jomaloxa XXI SL, a subsidiary owned by the Hernández family.

Joaquín Hernández, father of the waning star, would have reportedly redressed the firm aided by the player's three brothers. All of them save for the player are listed as board members; Álex is mentioned as chairman, Òscar as secretary and Ariadna Hernández is one of the firm's trustees.

Wealth, debts, rumour

Despite changing course before factual collision, Galileu 136 SL downsized its workforce last year by making a single employee redundant. As things stand, the property dealer owes €24 million worth of assets and owes €3.5 million to financial institutions, down by €500,000 relative to last year.

Before, the player had taken the public rap when he asked for an advance on his sky-high salary. Back at the time Joan Laporta held the chairmanship of FC Barcelona, and rumours were in the air that the player was crossing financial dire straits.

He filed yet another application in the context of negotiations to extend his contract with the Catalan maestros. The then president Sandro Rossell dismissed the claim. However, voices point out that unresolved financial issues would be behind Xavi's decision to join the Qatar football league, where he will bring in several millions a year. Also, financial problems would have triggered the capital expansion decided on in 2012.

Commenting on the matter, the current FC Barcelona president said that the player is free to move wherever he sees fit. Much more vocal was the player's father, who rubbished the claims and deemed them "disgraceful".

"What is the point in saying that Xavi is bankrupt when it is not true and he has extraordinary financial leverage?", said. The businessman put the player's decision to join a largely unknown league down to personal reasons.

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