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Barça de Laporta admits a change in the terms of the new Camp Nou that favors the Turkish construction company Limak

BarcelonaThe awarding of the works for the new Camp Nou to Limak Construction is taking place. The club presided over by Joan Laporta granted the contract to the Turkish company even though it did not meet the parameters that the same club had previously set, under the previous government, for the companies that competed in the competition, as it advanced The confidential. That Limak went ahead of the UTE formed by Ferrovial and Acciona and the FCC proposal generated surprise in the sector and raised doubts in the Chamber of Contractors of Catalonia. It was also one of the main reasons for the resignation of Jordi Llauradó as manager responsible for Espai Barça, a role that in fact it currently falls to Maria Elena Fort, institutional vice-president and spokesperson for the leadership. Llauradó decided not to participate in the construction company’s vote.

According to an extract from the requirements that Barça set in 2017, under the mandate of Josep Maria Bartomeu, for the award of the works, it was warned that “those companies that do not present references that prove they have built a stadium with more than 40,000 seats in the last 10 years” and “those companies that do not present two references of buildings built in Spain with a material execution budget (PEM) of more than 150 million euros in the last 10 years” . Two conditions that Limak does not originally meet. The company founded by the oligarch Nihat Özdemir, very close to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has never built a building in the Spanish state and the last stadium it has built is the Mersin Arena, inaugurated in 2013 with a capacity for 25,000 people. The new Camp Nou must be for 105,000, according to the latest approved project.

Barça reacted to the news with a statement denying that Limak had dribbled out the terms and conditions. The club’s argument is based on a circular that was sent from the management board on December 17, 2020 in which “it was established that the process was postponed until after the elections to elect a new board of directors and that when if there were any news regarding the tender, all of them would be notified.” After Laporta’s electoral victory, both the original project and the set of requirements were modified so that the construction companies could make it possible. “It is not until September 2022 when the new bidding process was initiated through which the works are awarded as the best-rated company in Limak,” underlines the official version of events. By virtue of this new document, the Turkish company does meet the conditions to undertake the comprehensive reform of the Camp Nou. A tailored suit.

Sources familiar with Espai Barça assure ARA that Limak showed his interest in bidding for the Camp Nou works just eight months ago, after the Galatasaray-Barça Europa League match that took place in Istanbul in mid-March 2022. At the Nef Stadyumu stadium, Laporta met Özdemir, the founder of a construction company that, unlike the Spanish companies that lost the competition, is not listed on the stock market , which lowers its transparency criteria, according to experts. The offer in question came after the resignation of CEO Ferran Reverter and coincided with the restructuring of the club’s professional organization chart, according to which Joan Sentelles, former executive of the late Reus and childhood friend of Laporta, became the strong man of Espai Barça replacing Ramón Ramírez. Months later, Nikken Sekkei and b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, the two studios that had won the design competition for the new stadium in 2016, dropped out of the project along with Idom, the company that the current management hired to reformulate it . In return, a joint venture formed by Torrella Ingeniería and IG Ingenieros was put in charge of the direction of a work that Limak will make a reality, in theory, before June 2026.

Internally, the Turkish company, Laporta’s favorite despite its little experience in stadiums and an almost non-existent presence in Europe, began to gain followers during the last weeks of 2022, until the final triumph in the vote that the board of Barça celebrated the past 9 January. This put an end to the hopes of the Spanish construction companies, which had been devoting financial efforts to perfecting their respective candidacies for years.

The bulk of the works on the Espai Barça will begin this summer

The new Camp Nou will cost a maximum of 900 million euros, according to the entity’s forecasts, and it still does not have 100% closed financing through Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. They are 600 million for the first phase, which includes the structure and the roof, and 300 for the interiors and the completion of works that, with the calendar in hand, must begin this summer, when the first team will start a season and place of exile at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, whose capacity will exceed 20 million. On the other hand, the final building permit has not been approved by Barcelona City Council either. The one in place is temporary and was used to demolish part of the third tier of the south goal of the stadium during the World Cup in Qatar.

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