The board chaired by Joan Laporta intended to announce yesterday with great fanfare the signing of a definitive agreement with investors to obtain the necessary financing to make Espai Barça a reality worth 1,500 million. The Barcelona board had validated the formula on Thursday afternoon and yesterday wanted to finish agreeing the conditions with the financiers. But, instead, he issued a short statement in which he indicated that "he is in the process of closing the financing of Espai Barça and informs that he will close the negotiations next week". Therefore, the agreement is postponed, although initially for a short time. As this newspaper has learned, the two parties have met on Monday to sign the agreement. Both the club and the investors consider that the issue is very much on track.
Barcelona had set itself the date of March 31 as the deadline for reaching the financing agreement, while yesterday morning the possibility of holding a press conference was being studied, which in the end was aborted.
The entity and also the investors that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have recruited set this deadline of the end of March to find an agreement. The intention remains to close this financing as planned from the beginning of the negotiations, as La Vanguardia has been reporting, that is to say, with up to three tranches of 500 million and with an initial interest of 6%; despite the fact that the club insists on being able to refinance it from the fifth year onwards, with the hope that this rate can be lowered and renegotiated once the new stadium is up and running and the club can start paying back the money borrowed.
The complicated financial situation of Barça and the unstable situation of the financial market caused some managers to seriously consider the option of postponing the project for a season, until the panorama of the banking and investment sector improves; but in the end it was decided to achieve the marked goal of the financing, and this is what Barcelona communicated on Thursday after the meeting of the board.
What Barça had no choice in deciding before the end of the month was the confirmation of which stadium they will play in the next campaign. It was a UEFA requirement for European competitions.
That is why Barcelona informed the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Thursday afternoon that the first team, during the coming season, will play the matches as a home team at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc, an information that the federating body must notify, in turn, UEFA. Meanwhile, in Montjuïc, the numerous works have already begun to adapt the installation to the needs of Barcelona. The club's board of directors also approved that the next Joan Gamper Trophy will be held at the Lluís Companys stadium.