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Barcelona closes in on €1bn revenue target

Barcelona remains on course to hit its target of surpassing the €1bn (£880m/$1.1bn) revenue threshold by 2021 after posting record turnover of €990m, although profit slipped year-on-year for the Spanish LaLiga football club.

The sharp increase in revenue from €914m the previous year – the sixth consecutive increase in turnover – came after Barcelona retained its LaLiga title, but lost in the final of the Copa del Rey to Valencia and was defeated by Liverpool in the Uefa Champions League semi-finals.

However, with costs amounting to €973m, operating profit fell from €32m to €17m, while profit after tax dropped from €13m to €4.5m.

Barcelona, which set the 2021 €1bn revenue target four years ago, added that the debt-to-revenue ration is “well below the limit” outlined in the club’s bylaws, although a precise figure was not published.

Whereas a year earlier the club said that €72m had been set aside for the Espai Barça redevelopment, there was no mention of the project’s ongoing financial requirements in the latest, brief announcement.

It emerged earlier this week that the project is set to be completed by 2024 – some two years later than initially planned – depending on approvals from Barcelona’s City Council. The project was originally expected to be completed by May 2022.

Recent reports in Spain have also suggested that financial services company JB Capital Markets has been engaged by the club to secure investment for the development.

Espai Barça will feature a revamped Nou Camp with a capacity of 105,000, a new Palau Blaugrana indoor arena for basketball, handball and other sports, a new Barça Campus and the Estadi Johan Cruyff, which is due to open late next month.