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This Thursday, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta gave a press conference to discuss the season so far as well as various issues of importance at the club. Espai Barça was the biggest topic, on which he said “when we arrived we faced an issue, Espai Barça was not going ahead and there had been no real analysis of the costs involved ... we can now say that the financing structure is in place, which together with the signature of Turkish construction company Limak, means work can begin after a ten-year delay and we will finally have a world class stadium with the capacity to generate a lot more revenue.”
“The project assessment by an external company has given it is BBB+ rating, the best in recent years, which confirms that the club's financial health is improving ... before March 31 will will have the funding for Espai Barça”.
"Last Friday, Morningstar Sustainalytics, a bond certification company, certified the bonds that we will issue on the American market in the GreenBons category, which means that we are expanding our market of potential investors, as well as the possibility of obtaining financing at a better price."
As for the granting of the Spotify Camp Nou project to Limak, Laporta stressed that "the bidding procedure for the awarding of the stadium work was exemplary from a technical and transparency point of view and the whole process was monitored at all times by the club's Compliance Area, by the law firm Fieldfisher, one of the best European law firms specialising in compliance, and by an internal auditor ... Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were kept informed of the entire tender process and thoroughly monitored the whole procedure, conducting audits of the participating companies to ensure that they could cope with a project of this magnitude."
Commitment to time schedule and costs
The president also explained some of the key reasons for choosing Limak: "Their work schedule meets the deadlines FC Barcelona asked for; the construction method fits the proposed planning; they have accepted all of the contractual conditions offered by the Club, conditions that are much more demanding than they would be for a standard contract in our country, especially in terms of the guarantees given the need to finance the operation in the North American market; and because it accepted a Guaranteed Maximum Price”.
In short, Laporta emphasised that "Limak was the only bidding company that undertook the commitment to achieve the time targets set by the club, which are to return to the stadium before December 2024 and the delivery of the completed project before June 2026." And this is a key factor, since "every season we are away means a loss of around 93 million euros for the club."
Utmost transparency and information
In relation to communications concerning the Espai Barça project, the president stressed that the club's Communication Area has drawn up a strategy to constantly keep people informed of the project's progress, saying that "our members and fans can receive messages on their mobile devices whenever any news about Espai Barça is reported. There will even be cameras to follow the work in the stadium live on the website and there will be special news sections on Barça TV".
He also spoke of "regular appearances by the institutional vice-president, Elena Fort, and various events in tribunes and forums in the city."
The club is clearly committed to offering the utmost transparency and information.
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