Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been accused of lying about the costs of the Espai Barca project which will include renovations to Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana will temporarily move away from their famous home next season in the hope of returning to a modernised Camp Nou in 2024/25, even though the stadium is only projected to be 50% completed by that point.
The process was proposed by Bartomeu as far back as 2016, with a €600m budget agreed upon by the former president and his board of directors, but ARA report to have seen proof that the Bartomeu regime lied to fans about the estimated costs of the work.
Deleted files and documents allege that Bartomeu and his board were informed by experts that the work was going to cost at least 30% more than that €600m, but the information was swept under the carpet.
The costs of the work have since been criticised by new president Joan Laporta, who reassessed the plans following his return to the club and determined that the full cost was closer to the €1.5bn mark – nearly three times the budget set aside by Bartomeu.
There are even fears that the situation in Ukraine could both delay the project and increase the costs, with Laporta claiming building materials were rising in price back in March.
“We’re speaking about it with the council but right now we have an internal debate about the impact of the war in Ukraine on Espai Barca,” he told El Periodico.
“We’re finding that the materials have gone up 25% in price, the types of interest are also predicted to increase, we need to have a conversation with Goldman Sachs, who are the ones who worked with the investors to finance the Espai Barca for €1.5bn.
Listen now to 90min’s Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Harry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Newcastle’s decision to pull out of a deal for Hugo Ekitike and offer the latest on Arsenal’s pursuit of Gabriel Jesus. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!
“In some way, that obliges us to rethink all of it. We can’t forget that there is a war and that has an important economic impact.
“Regardless, we will restructure it. We are weighing things up. We have the licences, we have the calendar for the works, but if this continues for a long time, we should try to go in a different direction.”