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A Barça without a rudder in the United States is looking for matches on the East Coast and Mexico

BarcelonaThe New York office of Barça, which at full cost has an annual cost of between 3 and 4 million euros and which on June 30, 2021 accumulated 6.5 million negative assets, has not had a director since May from last year. At that time, Joan Laporta’s board of directors decided that the former handball player Xavier O’Callaghan, who had been with him since 2018, should return to Barcelona to be the head of the professional sections of the Barça club. A few weeks ago, Barça issued an internal statement explaining the major restructuring of the commercial area, but this position was still vacant. In any case, in the same text it was said that it was expected to announce soon who would be the new director.

According to sources close to Barça’s New York office, located in the heart of Manhattan, the club’s staff has been working there for some time. “Nobody has been selling in New York since Nicolò Zini [responsable de desenvolupament de negoci del Barça a Amèrica fins al març del 2021] he left with Xavier Asensi [ex director comercial del club blaugrana] at Inter Miami, ”they explain. There is a secretary in the office and the employees of the Barça Academy in the region also use the space. The United States is the country where Barça has the most academies and campuses. In fact, since 2017 it has been the only residential academy, located in the city of Casa Grande (Arizona). And there are also two of the four Barça Academy Pros around the world. In this case, they are in New York and Miami.

“We bring the themes of New York from Barcelona,” an important official of the club told ARA. Barça currently has six sponsors in North America: Nike, Gatorade, Scotiabank, Coca-Cola, H&S and Stanley. But the latter, who has been the club’s global sponsor since 2018 and appears on the front of the shirt of the first women’s football team, will cease to be so on June 30, when Spotify will take over from this asset. Precisely the Swedish company, which will also sponsor the front of the men’s team and the training clothes of the two, and will own the title rights of the Camp Nou, has one of its two main headquarters in New York, in the World Trade Center, next to where the Twin Towers were located.

Without Messi, less than half the revenue

Another of the issues the club is pursuing from Barcelona is the search for friendly matches in the United States for the summer. The job is not easy. This week, as ESPN reported, the opportunity to tour the West Coast fell. Barça, according to ARA, are now working to close out matches in Mexico and the east coast of the United States, with a special interest in Miami, the city where several first-team players are scheduled to end their careers.

But sources familiar with the sector and the Barça club warn that it will be very difficult for Barça to play in Miami in 2022. Unlike the last tours of the United States by the club, this time the promoter with whom he is working is Relevent Sports Group, which thus becomes a competitor in closing friendly matches of major European clubs. And this promoter has a lot of power in Miami, as its owner, Stephen Ross, also owns the Hard Rock Stadium in the city of Florida (the stadium where the classic was played with Real Madrid in 2017) , the International Champions Cup (the summer competition between the major European football clubs) and the Miami Dolphins, an NFL team.

“Without Messi and without having won either the League or the Champions League, Barça this summer will have a value similar to that of other teams that were so far financially low when it came to setting touring rates,” said a source. of the sector. In previous tours in the United States, Barça exceeded 10 million euros in revenue. “Now it will bill less than half as much as before,” he added. At the moment, the only thing that has 100% tied for Barça’s men’s first team this summer is a friendly match in Sydney (Australia) on May 25 against a team of the best players in the Australian league.

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