The president of FC Barcelona, Joan Laporta, has been working hard on the renovation of the Camp Nou stadium, which aims to ensure the club’s future viability. However, this renovation has been affected by financial problems. Laporta’s team has been trying to secure funding for the works through financial investors Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, and has been working to secure the funding this month. Laporta’s Executive has divided the funding into three tranches of €500 million each to reduce the operation’s cost, and has offered 55% of the stadium’s future revenues as collateral. The bonds would be placed among institutional investors on Wall Street.
The first tranche of the funding would have to be repaid in 2032 with a new loan of €525 million, for which a 6% interest rate is promised. The last tranche would mature in 2052, with Barça paying a total estimated amount of around €2.6 billion, according to market estimates. The award of the works to Turkish company Limak depends on the achievement of the funding, which would include a fund of around €250 million for contingencies.
However, FC Barcelona’s situation is uncertain due to the “Negreira case”, an investigation into the payments made by the culé entity to Spain’s second-in-command of arbitration that threatens the club with a temporary exclusion from European competitions, relegation, and even disqualification from competing for up to five years. This has created doubts among investors, as they fear for their reputation if they decide to invest in such a risky project.
Despite this, Laporta has tried to reassure investors, arguing that the interest offered by the project is low compared to other investment options. But Barça’s situation, combined with the rise in interest rates, has made investors reluctant to invest in the project. Additionally, the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office is advancing in the investigations that involve Laporta’s first presidency, and this could further discourage investors from investing in the project.
Although there are reasons for hope, as the Court of Justice of the European Union will pronounce this spring on the European Super League project in which FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are hand in hand with JP Morgan. A favorable ruling for the Super League would not dissipate the threat of the Negreira case, but could largely compensate for the potential income of investors, given the still high likelihood that Barça will succeed in making a sporting space in the tournament.