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FC Barcelona wishes to deny the content of the story published today, Monday 6 February, 2023, by El Confidencial under the following headline: "The Barça board never approved the bid specifications that allowed Limak to enter the Camp Nou project."
Specifically, FC Barcelona makes the following assessments and corrections to the published content:
FC Barcelona decided that the specifications of 1 September 2022 that granted entry to the Turkish construction giant Limak in the reform of the Camp Nou, considerably lowering the conditions to bid for the project, should not be approved by the board, as confirmed by internal sources at the club. FALSE
The role of the Board of Directors in bidding processes is limited to approving the purpose and amount/s, and in some cases questions related to the timing or schedule for the provision of the goods or service that is the purpose of the bid.
The criteria by which they are formalised in the bid specifications for tenders deal with technical, quantitative, qualitative, market and other issues, these particularities being reflected in the text drafted jointly by the club's Purchasing Area with the area or department involved in the project that requires the bidding process.
"The new specifications consolidated in two directions: on the one hand, FCC and Comsa, and the Acciona and Ferrovial joint venture, which had passed the 2017 pre-qualification and which insisted that bidders needed to have built at least one 45,000 capacity stadium in the last 10 years, in addition to two buildings in Spain with a minimum budget of 150 million; and, on the other, the Turkish company Limak, for which the name "invited company" was created, which was exempt from these requirements". FALSE
Under no circumstances was a dual direction of approval consolidated for the bidding companies, nor was any of them exempt from complying with the requirements demanded by FC Barcelona in order to participate in the tender under the 2022 specifications. During the 2022 tender, five years after the previous specifications had been issued by the previous Board of Directors, the documentation of all the participating companies was reviewed (the new ones and those that had already provided documentation under the 2017 specifications). We asked the said companies to update part of the documentation provided under the 2017 specifications, as well as a new evaluation of the financial solvency of all the participating companies.
In any case, the expression "exempt from requirements" is totally inappropriate because an "exemption" supposes a "frankness and freedom that someone enjoys to be exempted from some duty or obligation.", and it would be better to say that all of the companies that participated in the tender were doing so under the same requirements.
Likewise, we must note that less than ten days ago, El Confidencial published, at the request of the club, a rectification that literally read, in relation to this alleged controversy: "Both LIMAK and the other bidding companies that bid scrupulously complied with the requirements and conditions desribed in the corresponding bid specifications throughout the bidding process."
“As advanced by El Mundo Deportivo, vice president Elena Forta has received an e-mail from member Ricard Faura in the name of five groups who are demanding more transparency with regards to the project in the name of opinion groups.”
The FC Barcelona Board of Directors maintain their full commitment to keeping the members constantly informed about the different phases of the Espai Barça project, having assumed the commitment of strengthening the Club’s official channels of communications to guarantee maximum transparency during the entire process.
As such, from the Board press releases, explicatory press conferences of topics relevant to the Club, the Infosocis channel, the call for members to take part in workshops have all been made more frequent as well as offering concrete information on the main operations that are being carried out to reassure all that FC Barcelona members are being kept up to date with the developments in these projects, especially Espai Barça. As recently as January the media was invited to a press conference in which the Club vice president and the Compliance Department set out in detail the tender process, protocols and control mechanisms the Club has at its disposal.
“In August of that year, the second departure was that of Jaume Llopis, who resigned from the board and as a member of the Espai Barça Commission. Llopis confessed to Laporta that costs would spiral much more than the club predicted, double, from 1.5 billion to 3 billion euros, and that the situation was unsustainable. In theory, the arrival of Limak allowed the initial costs to be maintained just as Laporta and his team had planned, as well as playing at Montjuïc for half the time, which helps ticket revenue.” FALSE
Mr.Jaume Llopis has never been part of the FC Barcelona Board of Directors. He was only a member of the Espai Barça Commission, from which he resigned on 8 August 2021 as a result of Leo Messi’s departure from the Club, as he stated himself in an open letter to the Club’s president. With regards to Espai Barça, he said: “Thank you for the confidence placed in me at the Espai Barça Commission, and even though there is no official title or responsibility, I believe I have brought positives, but I feel the need to resign because I wish to have the freedom to express my opinions.”
“Two days following Reverter, another member of the Espai Barça Commission left: the president of Audax, José Elías, who had been the main backer of Laporta so that he could gain the FC Barcelona presidency.” FALSE.
Mr.José Elías left the Espai Barça Commission in November 2021, which came out in the press in February 2022.
We regret that El Confidencial insists in attempting to discredit the tendering process carried out by FC Barcelona with regards to the adjudication of the work for Espai Barça on the basis of falsehoods, that, up to now, have required two rectification requests (one granted and one awaiting completion in the legal terms stipulated). The Club will continue to keep informing members of the falsehoods published (by El Confidencial or any other media) and take the necessary legal measures to defend itself from these unjustified and improper attacks.
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