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Barca want to be first €1bn club


Barcelona have a six year plan to become the first club with €1bn in revenues.  Current revenues are €600m and it is felt necessary to lift them to counter the growing financial clout of the Premier League.

In an interview with the Financial Times, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said that the real danger for the club is not losing its big stars.  Bids for them can be fought off.  Rather, it is teenage players from the La Masia academy being snapped up before they have the chance to grow into Barcelona's first team. Every year some of them are recruited by Premier League clubs.

The club wants to expand its presence abroad.  It is estimated to have more than 450 million fans around the world and 200 million social media followers.   At the moment FC Barcelona has only one commercial office abroad in Hong Kong.   It plans to open new ones in Sao Paulo, New York and Shanghai.   Moving into the Brazilian market is a relatively unusual step.

The capacity of the Camp Nou stadium is to be expanded from 97,500 to 105,000.   The number of lucrative VIP lounge seats will increase from 1,800 to 10,000.

Talks are taking place to renew the shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways which expires at the end of the season.   At the moment the club earns €33.5m a year from shirt endorsement, a sum that lags far behind the sums paid to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.   Mr Bartomeu is adamant that the days when Barca distinguished itself from other clubs by not carrying a sponsor's logo, or giving the space to Unicef as a gift, will never return.