Funding the Camp Nou project

Funding the Camp Nou project

As was announced yesterday evening, FC Barcelona will continue calling Camp Nou home for the foreseeable future. Given polls over recent months, this is the outcome members and Barça fans preferred. But this will be no small renovation, it’s not about slapping on a new coat of paint. The new Camp Nou project will cost the club 600 million euros. Financial details from club vice-president Javier Faus after the jump.

Not the entirety of the 600 million will be spent on Camp Nou. That figure is 420 million. The remainder is made up as follows: 90 million on a brand new Estadio Palau (basketball arena) and another 90 divided between parking space and other infrastructure (40), improvement of the new “Barça Space” (30) and the new Miniestadi (20).

Faus quickly moved to assure members and supporters that the financial costs will not “burden an entire generation of barcelonistas.” The majority will be funded by the club itself, saying the board decided against extracting more from members as well as “foreign contributions.” And while the additional financial costs will require the club to act responsibly and in a sustainable manner, he stated that it would not “put sporting excellence at risk.

So how exactly will the project be funded? Faus detailed financing will come from four principal sources. 200 million will be direct credit with a bank. This debt will be taken on in 2016, at which point the board has forecasted Barça’s total debt will be down to 200 million, from over 400 some years ago. This is completely responsible. It is impossible to finance this stadium without loans and a 400 million total debt in 2016 is nothing outrageous. Especially given that by that point in time, Barça as a club will likely generate near 600 million euros a year in revenue.

Another 200 million will come straight from the club coffers and 50 more from additional revenue generated by the hotel and other commercial ventures that form part of “Barça Space.”  That leaves 150 left over, the most controversial and unsavory bit. While the selling of the stadium name is out the question, aka Qatar Airways Stadium, it appears very likely that the Camp Nou will be trademarked, aka hypothetically Camp Nou Qatar Airways. Get ready for the stink that is going to unleash.

The construction is earmarked to begin in May 2017 and last until February 2021. Interestingly, that’s only beginning in the next presidential term. One has to wonder what will happen if Sandro Rosell and company are not victorious in the 2016 elections. The funding for the project will begin in 2016 and last eight years until 2024, so once again, future club leaders will need to manage this obligation. However, given the magnitude of the project, such an overlap is unavoidable.

The actual approval from the club members is yet to happen, and as Rosell said yesterday, if the members vote no, then all this is void. Let’s see how the vote goes down on April 5th or 6th.

Source: FC Barcelona / Image: MIGUEL RUIZ – FCB

EnriqueSDS is a senior writer, translator and editor for totalBarça, he can also be found in the Twittersphere under @enriqueschoch