Espanyol is defining the main lines around which the investments it will make will revolve with the 80 million it will receive as a result of the agreement between the League and the CVC investment fund. The main bulk (about 56) will go to the creation and improvement of infrastructure, while the rest will be distributed by improving the staff (12) and wipe out a debt (12) that will be almost canceled.
The main project is the creation of a new sports city, which will cost approximately 20 million. “We would like it to be in Cornellà, but the world does not end there. We will not waste time, we will go where there is political will “, they explain to ARA from the noble offices of the RCDE Stadium. The club has already located three alternative locations in the event of a negative response from Cornellà City Council, which has already rejected a large sports city that sought to bring together all the club’s teams. The new project they will propose, with a smaller format, would be located on a plot of land that is a kilometer and a half from the RCDE Stadium, and which are close to the link between Cornellà and Sant Boi de Llobregat.
The money from the investment fund will speed up this operation without having to allocate funds obtained from the sale of players, as had happened before to pay for the construction of the current Spanish stadium. Once the agreement with CVC is closed, Espanyol expects a period of about six months to determine where it will locate the new sports city and another year to fix the bureaucratic fringes. In the best of scenarios, work could begin in 2023 and the facility could open in 2024. Depending on the final destination, it will be decided whether it is intended for elite football or the nursery.
This space would include its own residence. Espanyol currently pays a rent for each child in the Josep Manel Casanova residence hall. The club wants to market training and experience packages for children and clubs around the world. “These are very profitable products that we cannot take advantage of today. We are under-exploiting the training within football because the current sports city is saturated “, they lament from the entity.
Pending permits at RCDE Stadium
There will also be improvements at RCDE Stadium. The club wants to expand and strengthen its offer in the face of VIP tickets, adding more parking spaces, more experiences and services such as a restaurant overlooking the lawn. “The stadium still has a commercial development that could not be executed due to not having negotiated well the fringes of the urban plan,” they warn. Espanyol is currently negotiating with local administrations to extend permits to be able to offer certain businesses (such as a gym) in premises that it currently has underused. The space between the stadium and the Splau shopping center, the premises on the Cornellà façade, the building above the wind tunnel or the LED screen, which has been closed for months due to the bankruptcy of the management company, are other assets that the club is working to manage and market taking advantage of the momentum of the funds that will arrive.
Merchandising is another of the pending subjects. The club wants to have a shop in the center of Barcelona again and move the one they have to the stadium at the entrance to the Splau, where there is much more traffic. In addition, it negotiates to have a presence in corners of a prominent retail chain.
Once the deal is closed, the white-and-blue club will receive 40% of the funds (about 32 million). The rest will be paid in three payments of 16 million in June 2022, 2023 and 2024. CVC will keep 10.95% of the audiovisual rights of the clubs that have signed the agreement for the next 50 years. If we take as a reference the figure entered by Espanyol in its last year in Primera (2019-20), almost 60 million, the club would stop earning about 6.5 million annually. Of this figure, however, the advanced 80 million would be subtracted. That is, the net share that the club would not enter would be about 4.5 million.
This decline would be offset by the increase in revenue that will be generated in two ways, through investments articulated with the 80 million anticipated by CVC and with the growth that will experience the sale of the audiovisual rights of the League: in the face of over the next decade there is a projected 40% growth in the figure for clubs.