Barcelona must move out of their Nou Camp home for the 2023-24 campaign due to planned renovation works to the stadium with the club set to take out a £1,275million loan
Barcelona will have to move out of their Nou Camp home for an entire season while renovation work is carried out to the stadium.
Ongoing construction work will mean that the stadium will be short of full capacity for three successive seasons with the scope of the works meaning that they will have to play a full campaign at an alternative venue.
The Catalan club’s well-documented financial problems have continually postponed the planned development work and the board’s plan to take out a loan worth a staggering £1,275million from Goldman Sachs to undergo the work will be put before the club’s AGM this month.
Barca believe the works to the stadium and surrounding area has the potential to generate an additional revenue of £160million per season for the club.
The club’s redevelopment of the Nou Camp will come after their historical rivals Real Madrid complete renovations of their Santiago Bernabeu stadium; which saw Los Blancos play at their reserve Castilla side’s stadium for a year.
Barca’s project – known as Espai Barca – will coincide with the club’s plans to sell the naming rights to the Camp Nou to a third party, with negotiations thought to be ongoing with several companies.
Barca’s general director Ferran Reverter has this weekend claimed that the idea is for the renovation works to be completed by 2025 – with the club taking out a loan spanning 35 years to cover the costs, with a belief that the new revenue stream will eventually make the venture a profitable one.
Reverter outlined the need for renovating the stadium, which he claimed was in desperate need of a revamp with many of the more expensive seats exposed to the rain due to the leaking roof.
He said: “Against Benfica (in the Champions League last week), some fans had lots of water falling on them.”
It is believed that the stadium’s Olympic Stadium – also known as the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys – is the most likely venue to house Barca during the Camp Nou’s renovation.
With a current capacity of 60,713 seats, the stadium which hosted the 1992 Olympic Games is the second largest in Catalonia and fifth in Spain.
Club president Joan Laporta has moved to reassure fans that the decision to take out a fresh loan for the project is the right one.
Laporta has said: “It is not an expense, it is an investment that can generate great benefits for Barça.
“€145m has been spent already and only 5 percent of the work has been carried out, which was valued at €600m at the time.
“Espai Barça will be financed by itself thanks to the additional income that it will generate.
“We have estimated it to be around €200m more and it will not cost the members money, it will not represent an increase in the club’s ordinary expenses, nor will it jeopardise the leadership or weaken the sports management.”
Reverter has added that there are 67 stadiums in Europe that are more modern than Camp Nou while in Spain, seven of the nine stadium that have more than 40,000 spectators have already been renovated.