Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Home LaLiga Font: "We have advanced negotiations" for the commercial name of Camp Nou

Font: “We have advanced negotiations” for the commercial name of Camp Nou

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The candidate for the presidency of FC Barcelona Víctor Font (Granollers, 1972) explains that his work team is in advanced negotiations with partners interested in ‘title rights’ (the trade name) of the Camp Nou and he does not rule out announcing an agreement in this regard before the March 7 elections. In an interview with EFE, Font details the project of his candidacy for the economic area of ​​the Barça entity.

What is the first thing you will do financially when you sit in the Camp Nou office if you are chosen by the partners?

“There are three pillars that must be implemented urgently: a shock plan, implement the growth plan for the next six years and complement the talent in the club with other specialists. “

What will the crash plan consist of?

“The first 100 days of government will be key, because we risk the future of the club. We have to refinance debt and reduce expenses. If we did nothing this season we would lose 200 million euros which would be added to the 97 that were lost in the previous one. There is a part in reducing expenses, the possible capital gain from the sale of players, which depends on the sports area. With our shock plan we estimate that we will be between 100 and 150 million losses.

How will expenses be reduced?

“There is a set of bonus and payment variables that are budgeted but not confirmed that could be deferred to give us oxygen. Other than this, there would not be much more room for maneuver in the short term beyond the sports area. We will never put economic criteria ahead of sports and with sports decisions we must ensure that we can meet the financial needs of the club. The sports management will tell us which players are not a priority for next season and there must be a job to try to put them on the market. “

Are you contemplating sitting down with the players to make a pay cut?

“Within the shock plan there is also the adaptation of the expense structure to the income forecasts we have for the coming year. Our forecast is that this season we will get 620 million in income and the next one, estimating that 75% of the public will return to the stadium, we will reach 820 million“.

Could a transfer be made this summer beyond Manchester City center-back Eric Garcia, which would come at zero cost?

“The idea in the next six months is to do operations in which the initial investment is not relevant or is zero, and that the economic requests of the player can be adapted to the needs of the salary mass that we have “.

Has any player been offered?

“The sports department and the technical secretariat have been working for months tracking the market and valuing the players with the most potential in our grassroots football “.

A future without Leo Messi to what extent would it affect the club’s economy?

Retaining Messi is very important and a priority in three facets: the sports, the economic and the institutional. The Barça-Messi association is strategic and must endure over the years, for life. “

By the end of the term, you plan to earn between 1,400 and 1,500 million euros per year. Without Messi, will the club be able to reach this level of turnover?

“Beyond whether Messi is active or not, what we want is for him to allow us to generate this growth. Even Messi has said that although he isIf he had been playing for the United States for one or two years, his dream is to return to work at the club. “

What if Barça had to close a big sponsorship just at the moment when Messi was playing in the United States?

“This is a tactical impact. We foresee a level of income from sponsorship very similar to what we have had recently. If we had Messi this amount would be surpassable and if we did not have him heWe should relieve a possible loss of attractiveness for the main sponsors with an expansion of categories. After all, sponsorships generate 200 million annually. They are relevant, but not the main part of the income. “

Rakuten and Beko, the main sponsors of the club, finalize contract soon. Do you intend to lengthen them or are you looking for other brands?

“We are in conversations with other companies. This is what allows you to have a detailed project and a team assembled to assume government responsibilities from day 1 and not have opted for the traditional way of entering the club, improvising a candidacy two or three months before. We we have advanced negotiations with a possible supplier of the ‘title rights‘and we are very clear about what Rakuten, Beko and Nike think and the conditions they could offer us. “

Could you announce an agreement for the ‘title rights’ of the Camp Nou before the elections?

“If we have it closed we will. What we want is that the partners do not vote blindly“.

How much income is being talked about by the ‘title rights’?

“We are in negotiations. There are different parameters such as the years of duration and with some of the partners we are talking about other parts of the business that we could develop together “.

Do you agree with the Goldman Sachs financing project for Espai Barça?

“It must first be explained to us in more detail. We have not seen the fine print. We will make a Espai Barça audit during the first 100 days, both the architectural part and the financing. The intention is that at the end of the season we can make a proposal to the partners to vote it in a referendum because the new Camp Nou and the new Palau Blaugrana are urgent. We like the Goldman Sachs proposal that it seems that there are no guarantees, but we do not understand how the additional 150 million income is quantified and it seems too much to us that a third of it goes to Goldman Sachs.

When it’s finished, how much money will Espai Barça mean for the club annually?

“324 million euros, including fertilizers. Practically we double the forecast for the 2021-2022 academic year, which will be 177 million for the performance of the stadium. Hospitality will be one of the areas that will grow the most, from the current 17 to 82. Income from tickets will not grow much, because although the stadium will have more capacity, We plan that the member who goes more to the field will pay less money for his subscription“.

What will be the other sources of income to achieve 1,500 million euros at the end of your term?

“The traditional sources of growth of a football club like Barça, television rights, ticket sales and all the commercial partThey have very limited growth. With this alone we will not continue to keep the club in the hands of the members and win ‘Champions’. The only part of growth is the stadium, but it is income that will not reach us until we have Espai Barça in five years“.

What will be the new sources of income?

“We will have to go out to monetize 400 million Barça fans in the world. And this can be done through three lines of business that we have developed: audiovisual content, electronic commerce and video games. We have spent years discussing and negotiating with strategic partners. Barça alone will not become Disney. Strategic partners should bring us knowledge and maybe money as well. “

What would change about ‘Barça Corporate’?

“Along with Barça Studios (audiovisual content) and BLM (licensed products and marketing) are the Barça Academies (schools) and the Barça Innovation Hub (technological innovation), which we don’t understand what kind of business they are. We have three business legs and for each of them there must be different strategic partners“.

Former director Dídac Lee explained in an interview with EFE that Barça was close to closing an agreement to enter the Chinese eSports market through League of Legends (LoL). Would it be an important step for the consolidation of the club in this area?

“It is time to get serious in eSports and it is part of the plan that we have defined. This is already a reality and Barça must catch up with the new generations “.

On Wednesday he signed before a notary public that he would not do anything voluntarily or involuntarily that would bring Barça closer to becoming a sports corporation. Why did you see it necessary to do so?

“Words are blown away. In an electoral campaign it is customary to explain what the member wants to hear and we are in an exceptional situation and the risk is so real you must have the plan, the equipment and the knowledge to avoid it. There are decisions, even if you do not intend that they can harm you, that they have the risk of taking you to the sports corporation. That is why we say no to Laporta bonds. It is a tangible risk. I have enough conviction that when I say things I will comply with them to know that if I take a verbal commitment it is enough, but people do not know me. That is why I ask that Joan Laporta and Toni Freixa, nor do they want the club to become a sports limited company, sign this document. And not because he doubts his intentions.

Why are you so afraid that the bonds proposed by Laporta may not work?

“What makes a bond issue exceptional at the present time? you have 1,200 million debt, that the club’s situation financially is very complicated and that because of the pandemic the situation of world markets is also very complicated. You will only place this by giving some guarantees and doing it with institutions that are not La Caixa or Banc Sabadell. You will place it in American investment funds, with the men in black of Wall Street, who do not have any kind of contemplation when it comes to defending their rights.

The previous directives assumed that the Barça sections generate expenses. Can this be reversed?

“We do not agree with the concept of a deficit section. In order to calculate a deficit you must allocate income and expenses. If you only assign the direct income that each section generates, we are not being faithful to reality. Logically, the Palau Blaugrana income from tickets or sponsors goes to the corresponding section. But if we sell a series of cartoons to fans around the world and some of them look at it because it follows Barça in basketball in the Euroleague, it is difficult to identify. Being a reference in all sections makes us more attractive“.

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