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Outgoing Mediapro CEO says Barcelona’s ownership model should change

Jaume Roures says Barcelona should sell a minority stake to an investor


Media mogul Jaume Roures, who recently left his post as the CEO of the media group Mediapro, has said FC Barcelona’s ownership model needs to change.

His proposal, which has gained some currency in Catalan media, has been dubbed “the Bayern model.” This is because on a basic level it approximates the ownership structure of Bayern Munich.

Basically, it would involve taking Barcelona from a fully-member-owned model to one in which ordinary members owned the majority, but not all, of the club.

Seventy-five percent of Bayern is owned by ordinary shareholders, while 25% is owned by private companies: Allianz, Adidas, and Audi.

“Barça can create a foundation that protects the vast majority of the ownership, and you could ‘take out’ 25% or 30% of shares. Now that Manchester United is for sale. and there is talk [the sale could go for] 5 or 6 billion, FC Barcelona could be worth 4 or 5 billion and, if you sell 25%, you would settle things with 1.5 billion that would come from that 25%,” Roures said on Catalan radio.

He went on to criticze the current structure: “what exists now is a model of false ownership for members and the only right he has is to vote every ‘x’ years ... then [a president] leaves, and leaves you with a hole of 800 million: that cannot be. The tragedy is not being able to debate and adopt the best solution for the future.”

Barcelona’s fully-supporter-owned model is a key part of its appeal, and a source of civic pride in the city. It would be a tough sell to the members to adopt this model. In addition, such a move would not be possible given the club’s current statutes. Of course, with a vote, these could change.

Roures, who was born in Barcelona, denied having any ambitions of becoming club president. In fact, he said he would not like it at all.

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