Sant Joan, also the anniversary of Leo Messi, did not bring with it the long-awaited renewal, but it did bring a gift for Joan Laporta on his saint’s day. The announcement of the Spanish Government of the return of the public to the stadiums was received with satisfaction in the club, aware that it is the first step for the economic reactivation of the entity, the one that has suffered the most from the ravages of the covid in its accounts.
This year’s Gamper, which could be played on August 8 against Juventus, will not only mark the start of the season but also the end of 17 months without an audience in the stands of the Camp Nou. “We already have some reports and we are working with the Procicat to be able to achieve a quorum that at least 50% of the capacity can start coming to see the games from day one,” Laporta explained in the assembly.
The Barça board of directors plans to discuss this matter next week, although they are aware that Procicat will have the last word. It should be remembered that although the Spanish Government has decreed the return to the stadiums, the autonomous governments will be in charge of decreeing the capacity limits in the sports venues. In May, the Higher Sports Council already authorized the presence of the public in the football and basketball stadiums. The Procicat authorized that in the last play off of the ACB League could enter 1,000 people in the Palau Blaugrana. And in those of the final of the futsal league, it has allowed the entrance to 2,000 spectators.
Barça, like the rest of the First and Second Clubs, made the budget for last season counting on finishing the course with an attendance of 50% of fans. As this extreme did not occur, the income generated by the attendance of the public at Camp Nou will fall 106 million over the initially budgeted by the Josep Maria Bartomeu board for the 2020-2021 season.
The pandemic already caused the previous year to invoice not only 47 million euros less in ticket sales, but also 3 in events in the stadium, 35 less in the club’s stores and 18 in the Camp Nou Tour. The Museum went from 42 million euros entered in 2019 to 4 million in 2020. LaLiga presented its annual financial report a few days ago, with losses of 733 million, of which almost half correspond to Barça.
Although those who had paid for their seats last season will not pay for this season, the return to the Camp Nou will allow them to reactivate sources of income that will help to revive the battered economy of a Barça that, according to Javier Tebas, won the “Copa of losses ”. The closure of the Camp Nou has caused more than 200 million losses.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.