Espai Barça chief Llauradó to step aside

Featured image credit: Alessio Patron on Unsplash

FC Barcelona has confirmed that Jordi Llauradó has stepped down from his role as director of the LaLiga club’s Espai Barça project.

Llauradó asked Barcelona president Joan Laporta for a change in his position to spend more time on his business commitments, which will prevent him from spending the required time on Espai Barça. He will now take up a role with the FC Barcelona Foundation.

The news comes after Barcelona this week appointed Turkish company Limak Construction to carry out the redevelopment of its Spotify Camp Nou stadium. Barcelona vice-president Elena Fort said that Llauradó did not vote on the matter due to “personal ethics and his knowledge of the world of construction”.

Reports in the Spanish media have suggested that Fort will now lead Espai Barça in the absence of Llauradó. Espai Barça will centre on an expansion of the Camp Nou’s capacity from 98,000 to 105,000, and will also include a new Palau Blaugrana arena and the wide-ranging Campus Barça development.

Limak is set to begin work on the Camp Nou in June following the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. Barcelona will spend the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluis Companys while the work is carried out.

Limak only has experience of building one football stadium, the 25,500-capacity Mersin Arena in Turkey. The company specialises in building infrastructure such as airports, factories and hotels.

Barcelona brought forward some of its planned renovation work at the Camp Nou to take advantage of LaLiga’s winter break for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. A partial demolition project was completed in November and the wider revamp will begin in June.

Last month also saw Barcelona commence renovation work at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys ahead of the 2023-24 season. The club will be permitted to use the stadium between August 2023 and May 2024, with the venue set to have a capacity of 55,000 for matches played by Barcelona.

Last week, Barcelona president Joan Laporta predicted a hit of almost €100m (£88.5m/$108.3m) to matchday revenue when the club temporarily relocates next season.