Saturday, January 22

The history of the Camp Nou: failed reform projects


Barça built the Camp Nou in 1957, reformed it in a big way just before the 1982 World Cup in Spain, remodeled and not profoundly in 1994 and then it has been forgotten. It has been forgotten, despite the fact that up to three projects (the Barça-2000 of Nunez, that of Norman foster with Laporta in 2007 during his first term and that of Bartomeu in 2014), planned the remodeling of a stadium that has grown old, to the point that it is now dilapidated and out of date with respect to the great temples of world football.

It is not only a matter of financial necessity (“Barça in the last 20 years has entered 9,000 million euros and only 5% has been allocated to the stadium”, he recalled Ferran Reverter, the CEO of the Barça club) but also to adapt to the new times that football needs as a sport. And as a business. “Practically none of that money has gone to change and modify the structure of our stadium”, has increased the top executive of Barça.

The Camp Nou has become so old that seven of the clubs that have stadiums with more than 40,000 spectators. Only two teams don’t have a new home. Valencia, whose work for the new Mestalla has been stranded for more than a decade, collapsed due to the economic crisis, and Barça, which has been discarding projects to build a new home.

The board had to invest 2 million euros this past summer urgently to fix problems in the stadium and guarantee the safety of the fans

The lack of care for the stadium meant that this past summer the club had to invest two million euros to guarantee the safety of the fans, put at risk as Laporta himself relieved. 900 pathologies detected in July 2019, which were not resolved by the Bartomeu board, had to be corrected urgently. Up to 119 were considered ‘quick fix’, of an urgent nature.

It was not that there was a structural problem that could cause demolition threats or that would prevent the full opening of the Camp Nou. But if they were not solved they prevented, yes, some areas of the stadium could be opened.

Barça and Valencia are the only big clubs that have not renovated their stadiums in recent years

“58 clubs have already renovated their stadiums,” Reverter pointed out. The Barça, no. “And 67 stadiums are more modern than ours,” he said later to justify the increasingly evident need to undertake some works, which would start in the summer of 2022. The idea of ​​the Laporta directive is that they be finished in 2025 “Everyone has done their homework, everyone,” stressed the CEO of Barcelona.

The Camp Nou has become so old that, with the new reform, it would expand its capacity to 110,000 spectators, remaining the one with the largest capacity in Europe, which for 26 years no structural reform works have been undertaken.

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Failure Nunez Laporta, who came to present the model of foment in 2007, because Sandro RosellUpon his arrival to the presidency in 2010, he left the project.

The same happened to Josep Maria Bartomeu, who already made a referendum in 2014 to obtain the support of the partners for Espai Barça. But seven years later, the only thing that has been built is the Estadi Johan Cruyff, whose initial cost, as Reverter has said, “was four million and ended up costing 20”.




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