Real Madrid and Barcelona have been told by Uefa that the cash generated by the sale of future revenue streams – including broadcast deals and other media assets – will not be considered as legitimate profit in their financial fair play (FFP) consideration.

The decision puts huge pressure on Barcelona to comply with FFP in the next cycle, and goes some way to explaining why Real’s activity in the transfer market has been so limited – aside from Jude Bellingham’s arrival.

Uefa has treated Barcelona’s sale of a range of future income streams for around €700 million last summer, as debt. The same was the case with Real’s €360 million sale of future income from the remodelled Bernabeu to the US investor Sixth Street last summer.

In both club’s financial results published for the benefit of their members, who are the clubs’ ultimate owners, those up-front cash payments in return for a stake of future earnings have been presented as profit.

Uefa announced on Friday it was fining Barcelona €500,000 for its latest FFP submission, signalling another crisis for the club. Barcelona had tried to submit a portion of its sale of 25 years of future income to US investor Sixth Street – understood to be €266 million – as legitimate revenue for its FFP consideration for the most recent financial year. That was rejected by Uefa and the club was heavily fined for erroneous accounting practices in relation to FFP.

In a statement, Uefa’s Club Financial Control Board, which administers FFP, said that Barcelona were given the fine for “wrongly reporting” what it described as “profits on disposal of intangible assets (other than player transfers)”. Uefa said that those profits were not “a relevant income under the regulations.”

This was a reference to the sale of future income streams known colloquially in Spain as “palancas”, or financial levers. These financial arrangements were, contrary to Uefa’s position, permitted by Spain’s Liga executive in the 2021-2022 season.

Barcelona passed Uefa’s FFP because the current rules calculate aggregate losses over a total of four years but it is now facing huge obstacles to doing so next year. It is understood that Barcelona had hoped to book a further €400 million of cash from the sale of future income streams in the next financial year. It is now clear that Uefa will not recognise that revenue as FFP compliant. Barcelona declined to comment when contacted by Telegraph Sport.

The new FFP rules will see clubs assessed annually over a calendar year. The new format, known as “squad costs”, will restrict expenditure on transfers, wages, agents’ fees and all other attendant costs to a percentage of revenue. That will begin at 90 per cent this year falling by ten per cent twice over the following two years to 70 per cent. Clubs will be permitted to lose €60 million over a three-year period providing certain assurances are made.

In October, Real reported an operating profit of €23 million to their members in the club’s results covering the financial year 2021-2022. But Uefa saw it differently. The removal by Uefa of the profit consideration of €316 million that Real drew down from that €360 million sale of future rights to Sixth Street meant that, in FFP terms, the club made significant operating losses of €293 million. The club only passed FFP because of its aggregate profit and losses over the four-year period.

The club’s 2022-2023 budget had projected an operating profit of €7 million with the inclusion of the remaining part of the Sixth Street deal, €44 million. That sum will not be set aside by Uefa, turning the projection into a €37million operating loss.

Real’s separate sale of future rights to the US private equity group, Providence, may also now have an impact on future Uefa FFP compliancy. The Providence deal, that saw unspecified up-front cash payments in return for a cut of future commercial incomes, began in 2017 and has since been extended.

This week Telegraph Sport revealed costs in Real’s most recent financial results, included in its “other operating expenses” sub-category, of €135 million. There was no explanation forthcoming as to the destination of €122 million of that total. It represented 20 per cent of the club’s total spending.

Real declined to explain where that cash was being paid and whether part or all of the €122 million was being used to service the annual payments on the Providence deal.

The deal with Providence was originally described by Real as a “participation account” and then in its most recent results as an “unincorporated joint venture agreement”. Payments in that “other operating expenses” sub-category of Real’s annual financial results have risen 800 per cent over five years since 2017, against revenue growth of just six per cent.

Last summer Barcelona sold 25 per cent of Liga television revenues for the next 25 years to Sixth Street. The US investor paid around €500 million, it is understood. A further €200 million was projected to come from the sale of 49.5 per cent of the subsidiary Barca Studios, to two separate investors.