Barcelona Taps Brakes on $1.6B Stadium Renovation Plan

FC Barcelona is pausing a plan to raise $1.6 billion primarily for stadium renovations.

The club reportedly froze up when confronted with an increase in US borrowing costs and is now weighing other options to raise the money, according to the Financial Times.

In February, the Kroll Bond Rating Agency had given Barca’s financial plans for Camp Nou’s renovation a triple-B-plus rating — but later downgraded it to a triple-B due to a revised financing structure.

Just one week ago, it was reported that the club was considering restructuring the plan to pay back its loans earlier.

Still, Barcelona plans to move forward and have a full plan by the end of March. The club’s current plans have the renovations complete by 2025 — but that could change given the delay in financing.

The Referee Scandal

Meanwhile, Barca is still dealing with the fallout from allegations that it bribed referees for several years — and now its biggest rival is piling on.

After Spanish prosecutors launched an investigation and filed charges of corruption last week, Real Madrid has announced it will participate in the trial against Barcelona.

“The club has agreed that, in defense of its legitimate rights, it will appear at trial when the judge opens it up to the affected parties,” Real Madrid announced.

Barcelona admitted that it paid a firm owned by former La Liga refereeing committee member Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira at least $7.4 million — but said it was all for legitimate purposes like consulting and video.

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