Barcelona assets vice-president and presidential candidate Jaume Ferrer have an interview to Spanish business paper Cinco Días.
What have been the keys for Barça to double the revenues over the past five years?
Football is an industry that in recent years has grown tremendously, it has been globalized and has turned teams and players into icons. This has led to the appearance of new ways of income in all areas thanks to the bigger audience: stadiums, marketing and media rights. The market of the first five European leagues is worth around 8.000 million euros. In 2003, when the current board of directors took office, FC Barcelona had a turnover of 125 million euros and had operating losses of around 80 millions. This season we will surely have more than 400 million in revenues - equally divided over the three business areas - and a profit of 20 or 25 millions. The accumulated benefits of the last seven years will be over 100 millions.
What is your economic project for the club?
I think that in recent years a good job has been done and that the model to position Barça in the world as 'more than a club' should continue. A model based on spectacular football, on values like civility and solidarity. And we should remain a multi-sports club: we have 13 sections besides football, more than 90 teams, 2.000 people counting players and coaches. We will also continue with the internationalization, with North America, Asia and Africa as key markets. And we want to continue to increase the revenues in all areas, because there still are possibilities. At present, Barça has more than 200 million fans worldwide. And that leads to more audience, more revenues from television rights and more chances to find global sponsors. As a novelty, I want to promote a new source of income: the generation of content for mobile phones and internet. New technologies are developing very fast and it’s a major source of income that is still untapped in the world of football.
But what are your specific economic objectives?
We will give further details about our program when the elections are officially called. But we foresee a budget of between 800 and 1.000 million euros in the next six years. That means doubling the current figure, or a little more than that, depending on how the crisis evolves.
Apart from generating cash, the project will be viable?
Yes, the club has been profitable in the past six years. To keep on having profits is crucial for our sustainability as a big club. And that means spending a little less than what comes in.
Have you considered to have a shirt sponsor?
The agreements with the organizations of the United Nations are crucial. We want to continue with them. But it is not required to have Unicef on the shirt. In the short-term I think it is, but we will study formulas to see if there are opportunities to promote this in another way and that we then can advertise something on the shirt, which could bring in 20 millions.
What about the reform of the Camp Nou?
We want a project that meets our objectives. On the one hand, more comfort for the club member: we will cover the stadium so that nobody gets wet, we will make it more accessible to the elder and the disabled people. On the other hand, higher revenues: we want to have a larger restaurant area and more VIP boxes for companies. In addition, we will restructure the surroundings, where we could build a hotel and a new Palau.
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