Barça bosses want new stadium at Camp Nou

Barcelona president Sandro Rosell on Monday dismissed the idea of building a new stadium elsewhere in the Catalan city and instead proposed that the Spanish club build on the site of the Camp Nou.

Barça bosses want new stadium at Camp Nou
The new stadium and facilities would cost about €600 million ($810 million), according to FC Barcelona finance director Jordi Moix. Photo: José Jordan/AFP

"The Board has unanimously decided to put the plan to build a new stadium on the structure of the Camp Nou to the shareholders," Rosell told a press conference.

"The option of building a new stadium in a new location has been ruled out … the final cost of the operation could jeopardize the club," said Rosell.

"The cost of going to Diagonal (the proposed new location) is very high, almost double," he said.

"It has been a difficult decision, the two projects were extremely attractive," he said, stressing that the responsibility of management "was to present viable project."

FC Barcelona director for economic and strategy Jordi Moix explained that the plans for the Camp Nou was a "complex technical project" which would cost an "acceptable" €600 million and would extend the venue's capacity from 99,000 to 105,000 spectators.

The new stadium would cost about €400 million and the remainder would cover the upgrading of facilities, club economic vice-president Javier Faus said.

FC Barcelona members can vote on the project in a referendum on April 5th and 6th.

If approved, the project will take place over the next six or eight years, said Faus.

Built in 1957, the Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe.

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Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president

Police raided the offices of FC Barcelona on Monday, carrying out several arrests just six days ahead of the club's presidential elections, a Catalan regional police spokesman told AFP.

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president
Barcelona's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu is among the arrested. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Spain's Cadena Ser radio said one of those arrested was former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October, along with CEO Oscar Grau and the club's head of legal services.

But the police refused to confirm names, saying only “arrests are taking place” and adding that the operation was being run by officers from the financial crimes unit.

“We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit,” the police spokesman told AFP.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the operation is linked to last year's investigation into the 'BarçaGate' scandal, which saw the club deny hiring a company to criticise current and former players on social media to improve the image of the then-president Bartomeu.

Cadena Ser said Barca paid €1 million in six separate invoices to the company I3 Ventures, with whom the club have since cut ties.

Bartomeu resigned in October, after mounting pressure following months of controversy and a dramatic decline in performances on the pitch.

His successor is due to be elected on Sunday, when club members will choose between the final three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.