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SBD Global/October 10, 2013/Finance

Barcelona Economic VP Discusses Stadium Plans, Revenue Sources, Among Other Topics

Barcelona Economic VP Javier Faus "recently talked about a number of subjects related to Barcelona," according to MUNDO DEPORTIVO. Faus pointed out that when he entered the club it owed €440M ($595M), but that it is now €330M ($446M) in debt. Faus described the revenue earned by each area of the club. He said that the stadium (ticketing, hospitality, the museum and season tickets) generates €126M ($170M), media contracts (with Mediapro and UEFA) generate €160M ($216M) and marketing (including with Qatar and Nike) produces €176M ($238M). Faus said that "a new stadium could generate" €30M-€40M ($41M-$54M), while "renovations could produce" €20M-€25M ($27M-$34M). On the subject of the stadium providing fans with Wi-Fi, Faus said, "Introducing Wi-Fi ourselves would cost" €4M ($5.4M). Faus: "But we are negotiating with American businesses and seeing if we can reach an agreement. It is not clear whether fans would have free access or if they would have to pay €.5-€1" ($.68-$1.35). Faus said, "Personally I believe this is essential, not just as a service for the fans but also for the raw strength that 100,000 people sending live pictures would mean." Faus also answered questions about Qatar and said, "I accept that some Barcelona fans do not accept what is happening in Qatar, but this does not damage the Barcelona brand. We all know that China is a dictatorship and all businessmen go to China and we are united with Shanghai. If the team's debt is reduced, we would be able to plan on not renewing the agreement with Qatar. We would prefer to be in the hands of a sponsor and not a bank" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 10/8).
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