As well as world domination on the pitch, European champions Barcelona want to become the first EUR 1bn football club by 2020.
The Catalans are aiming for a turnover of EUR 1bn, but this calls for an annual growth rate of 10%, something that the club has actually achieved over the past decade.
Much depends on the development of Barca’s iconic stadium and adjoining facilities. The Espai Barca project, which was unveiled last year, aims to “provide the biggest and best sports facility that the world has ever seen in a city centre”.
The project involves the complete remodelling of the Camp Nou and construction of a new “Palau Blaugrana” – a 10,000-seater indoor arena. Josep Maria Bartomeu, the club president, said: “It is very ambitious; not only will it change the face of Barça but it will also make history – just as history was made when Barça came to Les Corts. The work has been challenging, it is a project that draws on a great deal of resources and requires the best people,” he said. The “new” Camp Nou will have 105,000 seats all under cover and will include 7,500 VIP seats.
Barca are also hoping to leverage commercial and sponsorship initiatives. The club has no lack of followers – through various social media platforms, Barcelona has 180 million followers globally. This plays nicely to the city of Barcelona’s bid to become a “smart city” – it is currently one of the most “wired” cities in the world. And the club has already made its mark in the digital world. Barca glocal (global +digital) is, according to the magazine Adweek, the principal producer of digital sports content in the world.
What could scupper Barca’s plans? The new broadcasting revenue distribution scheme will undoubtedly affect Barca and Real Madrid’s monopoly on TV money. Under the Spanish government’s plan, 90% of broadcasting revenue will go to the La Liga clubs, with half shared equally and the other half distributed according to performance and size. The remaining 10% will go the second tier clubs. This is far more democratic than the current deal, which involves each club cutting its own deal.
Barca are already one of the world’s “uber clubs” – this latest ambition will propel them to a new status – that of the “global universal football corporation”.