The financial situation appears to have improved at Barcelona since Joan Laporta took over, with the club taking out new loans and restructuring debt.
A large part of that was to secure funding in order to renovate Camp Nou and finally attempt to carry out the Espai Barca work, which would also change the surrounding area into a campus for Barcelona with sporting and commercial benefits.
Yet the progress of that project has hit an unexpected stumbling block. As detailed in an interview with El Periodico, Laporta explained that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is having an impact on the ability to start work.
“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.”
“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 €1.5b.”
“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.”
Laporta was also optimistic about it though, as is his nature.
“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.”
Delaying the project would be a blow to Laporta but also the finances of the club, which could do with the income from Espai Barca as soon as possible.