Barcelona have hit out at suggestions that president Joan Laporta has ‘broken the rules’ with his deal with Turkish company Limak to develop the famous Camp Nou stadium.
The club confirmed earlier this month that Limak will begin work on Camp Nou at the end of the current season as part of the larger Espai Barça development, with the expansion of the stadium expected to take around three years.
However, Spanish publication El Confidencial have since claimed to have evidence that Laporta disregarded the club’s own bidding rules to grant the contract to Limak, arguing that the developmental work is at risk of collapsing altogether.
The allegations quickly reached Barcelona, who published a lengthy statement to deny all the claims against them.
“FC Barcelona wants to deny the content of the information published today, Monday, January 23, 2023, by El Confidencial with the following headline: #Laporta broke the Barça rules to give the works of the Camp Nou to the Turkish Limak’.“
In the statement, Barcelona denied five specific arguments from the initial report.
Planet League’s Rich Holmes & Sustainable Clarets’ Cat Jebson join Shebahn Aherne to have football’s climate conversation ahead of Green Football Weekend. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Beginning with an allegation that the club’s own bidding procedure should have prevented a company like Limak from winning the contract, the Blaugrana explained: “In no case is there a bidding contract as such, but within the bidding procedure there is a pre-qualification phase and another phase of sending the specifications.
“The specifications sent on September 1, 2022 allow all the companies that have participated to apply for the tender since all of them met the latest pre-qualification criteria established by FC Barcelona.
“The specifications for the tender for the renovation works of the Spotify Camp Nou have been communicated to all the companies that applied and have a valid date of September 1, 2022. This specification does not establish a requirement to be able to be winning company that should have built a soccer field with more than 40,000 seats or two constructions referring to Spain.
“Prior to this bidding process, there was a process that began in 2017 that was cancelled in December 2020 through an official communication through the FC Barcelona Supplier Portal to all participating companies at that time. It is not until September 2022 when the new bidding process began through which the works are awarded as the best valued company to LIMAK.”
Also denied by the club were claims that: Laporta ignored the bidding rules, Limak should not have been able to bid and the building permit is likely to be rejected as a result.
Barcelona have argued that the original bidding process, which began in 2017, may have included certain parameters which have since been removed when the plans were reignited in 2022, allowing Limak to enter the race.