Barcelona have been pushed to the limit financially in recent years, with President Joan Laporta taking the decision to sell of a number of the club’s most prized assets in order to maintain a competitive team. The risk and the reward have been weighed by many, but as it transpires, Laporta is even willing to put the position of potentially himself and his successors in jeopardy.
The Espai Barca project has seen Barcelona secure investment and loans to the tune of €1.5b in order to redevelop Camp Nou and the surrounding area. They forecast that once Camp Nou is finished in June of 2026, it will bring in around €346m per annum.
However Sport have detailed that Barcelona had to put together those forecasts as part of a number of guarantees. One of those guarantees would allow them to replace Laporta as president of the club, despite the fact the members have the right to vote for the president.
Every year from when Camp Nou is finished, Barcelona will have to pay a minimum amount of capital plus interest to the investment fund behind that loan, a group of 20 international investors including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Perez-Llorca, until 2050 when they hope to pay the loan off.
If the income from Camp Nou and its surrounding assets does not meet a minimum agreed amount (the Catalan daily put €85m per annum as an example), then the investment fund will have the opportunity to depose the Barcelona president and install their own leadership.
It is not yet clear how that factors into the club statutes, and whether this is in fact within club regulations. Elections are currently scheduled for 2026, and while Laporta may run again, there is a chance he never has to face the threat of the investment fund deposing a president as liability. In all likelihood, it will never reach such a desperate situation at any rate, but it may rankle with members that Laporta was willing to play fast and loose with the club’s future.