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FC Barcelona first vice-president Jordi Cardoner gave an online press conference on Thursday morning, in which he also discussed the work of the Barça Foundation, of which he is the head, and particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ordinary Assembly postponed
One of the most important points made by Cardoner is that the board has decided to postpone the Ordinary General Assembly, originally scheduled for October 25, the weekend of the game with Real Madrid, to a date as yet undecided.
The decision was based on the Government of Catalonia Decree 31/2020 of September 8 and guidelines issued by the General Secretariat for Sport with regard to Covid-19 prevention. The event will instead be held whenever it is deemed that the health and safety of all participants can be fully guaranteed.
Vote of Censure
Cardoner commented that the Vote of Censure passed the cut of 16,520 signatures, but this does still have to be officially ratified. The next stage is publication of the electoral roll and a period for presenting appeals, after which the board will have between 10 and 20 working days to set a date for the vote.
Season ticket compensation
Season ticket holders were allowed to claim 25% back on the cost because of games that were played behind closed doors. Most fans (45.6% for Camp Nou and 52.5% for the Palau Blaugrana) opted to have that amount deducted from the cost of their 2020/21 ticket.
22.3% of the 83,116 Camp Nou season ticket owners took up the option of not having a ticket for this season, as did 9.7% of the 5,518 Palau season ticket holders.
Clean, safe spaces
Cardoner also described the efforts to keep the club premises safe for all athletes, workers and fans with regard to the Covid-19 crisis.
The club has been in constant contact with the authorities to ensure that all the right measures are in place, and has established protocols for the games being played behind closed doors, and also for the future scenario when fans are allowed back into the stadium.
The expectation is that games will first be held with a limited capacity, and in such a case, season ticket holding members will always get priority treatment over other groups – and will have to apply for seats on a match-by-match basis, with draws being held when demand outstrips supply.
Social distancing measures will apply, and as much as possible, fans will be allocated to their usual zones. Tickets will be sent by email, or can be collected at the ticket offices or the OAB.
‘We’ll take you home’ during the pandemic
The T’Acompanyem a casa program involves helping elderly fans on match days, but during the pandemic the club has contacted all of its members aged 80 or over to see if they need any kind of help or service.
No fewer than 15,731 calls were made and support was given where needed in association with the Red Cross.
Barça Foundation and Covid-19
The Barça Foundation has also been doing its bit against Covid-19, both by delivering healthcare materials to be the places they are most needed and by adapting its programmes to the new context brought about by the coronavirus.
More than 500,000 items of protective equipment and other materials were received, primarily from China, and delivered to hospitals and other medical centres, while assistance was given to the most at-risk groups, including food grants for children.
The Foundation adapted its face-to-face activities, such as FutbolNet and the Bullying Awareness program, to online methods, and also offered the chance for sick children to speak to their heroes via video chat.
And of course the club also agreed to transfer the title rights to the Camp Nou to the foundation during the construction of the Espai Barça and for the proceeds to be donated to the fight against Covid-19 both in Catalonia and elsewhere in the world.
One and a half million beneficiaries
This year the Foundation has reached out to 1,580,000 boys and girls in 50 different countries, including 258,000 in Catalonia.
The three main work areas are: violence prevention (the bullying program and one against violence in Latin America), social inclusion (refugee and migrant program, diversity program for disabled children, social inclusion of vulnerable populations, and paediatric wellbeing for sick children), and access to education and support (various partnerships but especially the one with UNICEF).
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