Barcelona members give thumbs up to project costing £1.3bn

In the age of oligarch and hedge fund ownership of football clubs, it’s somewhat refreshing to find a club that is still owned by its fans.

When that club is one of the most powerful in world football, the fan ownership model really makes a statement.

The club presidents, at the current time Joan Laporta, are mere custodians of the organisation and who are at the behest of their socio members on matters requiring votes to be pushed through.

There are no deciding votes from the board here. When Barcelona’s fan base speak, they are heard. Loud and clear.

However, sometimes decisions are made which could be said to not be in the best interests of the club.

One of those came just this past weekend, when, for the first time ever, members were allowed to vote telematically rather than having to turn up to the Camp Nou in person.

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The project being put forward to be funded was the £1.3bn Espai Barca project. This involves upgrading the Camp Nou and its surrounding areas.

Having been built in the 1950s and not having changed much since then, it’s abundantly clear that the stadium does need to be brought into the digital age.

At the present time, however, because of the poor financial management of the previous regime, the club are already £1.5bn in debt.

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That didn’t seem to deter the members, who voted in their thousands to say yes to the proposals.

FC Barcelona’s official website noted that, of the 48,623 members that voted, a huge 87.8 percent gave the project the thumbs up.

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