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News at FCB

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    FC Barcelona want as many members as possible to cast their votes / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB
    “I am most concerned about the turnout because I want the members to come and voice their opinions" said the FC Barcelona president

    This Thursday is the final day for providing information on the Proposed New Espai Barça, which has involved extensive efforts to ensure that the FC Barcelona members are crystal clear about what the potential project involves. FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu reviewed the process today, saying that “the campaign has gone down very well among the members. We have set standards for transparency and clarity, and have cleared up all of their doubts.” [[CITA_1]]

    The president also says that rather than the outcome of the vote, “what we really want is a good turnout, for people to come and voice their opinions. I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday for what they think would be best for the Club. If the members come and vote, it’ll be a great example of how we do things here, where the big decisions are made by the members, the owners of the club”. In the 2010 presidential elections, 57,088 members exercised their right to vote, and “we’d be very pleased to achieve figures like that because it would really mean the members have got involved”.

    Bartomeu was also asked whether it’s true that the stadium will include the name of Qatar, something he denied. "Qatar is not behind the reform” he explained. “We don’t want the same sponsor to pay for so many assets. It’s better to diversify.”

    I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday

    FC Barcelona want as many members as possible to cast their votes / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB
    “I am most concerned about the turnout because I want the members to come and voice their opinions" said the FC Barcelona president

    This Thursday is the final day for providing information on the Proposed New Espai Barça, which has involved extensive efforts to ensure that the FC Barcelona members are crystal clear about what the potential project involves. FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu reviewed the process today, saying that “the campaign has gone down very well among the members. We have set standards for transparency and clarity, and have cleared up all of their doubts.” [[CITA_1]]

    The president also says that rather than the outcome of the vote, “what we really want is a good turnout, for people to come and voice their opinions. I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday for what they think would be best for the Club. If the members come and vote, it’ll be a great example of how we do things here, where the big decisions are made by the members, the owners of the club”. In the 2010 presidential elections, 57,088 members exercised their right to vote, and “we’d be very pleased to achieve figures like that because it would really mean the members have got involved”.

    Bartomeu was also asked whether it’s true that the stadium will include the name of Qatar, something he denied. "Qatar is not behind the reform” he explained. “We don’t want the same sponsor to pay for so many assets. It’s better to diversify.”

    I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday

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    Josep Maria Bartomeu was speaking in the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    The FC Barcelona president insists that “we are annoyed because we feel we are the victims of a gross injustice” "Barça's sports plan will remain the same" added Bartomeu

    Bartomeu defends model in Marrakesh

    In December 2013, when he was still vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu was in Marrakesh on occasion of the FIFA World Clubs Cup, where he was asked to defend Barça’s youth system. "The best way to protect minors is to guarantee their access to opportunities in life" he said that day, when he commented that there was a need to find a solution for this issue.

    Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken about how unhappy the club is with thesanction imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary Commission for violations of its regulations on the transfer and registration of players aged under 18. “We are annoyed because we feel we are the victims of a gross injustice”, he told a press conference this evening. "It is an excessive measure."

    The president insists that “the Masia is not to be touched … it is a model that made us world leaders in football for the last ten years.” He pointed out that youth system has produced some fine home-grown talent over the years, including Leo Messi, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta, “who have received awards from FIFA itself”.

    No change to plans

    Bartomeu went on to explain that in collaboration with the Spanish Football Federation, the Club will be presenting an appeal to FIFA. “We have ten days to put together an appeal, but before that we shall be informing the Appeals Commission of our intention to appeal within the first three days” he explained. The club will request a suspended sentence, and if this is accepted, then the sanction will not become effective until the appeal is resolved, and only if it is ratified. "If we have to, we’ll go to the TAS", he said, referring to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, going on to say how proud he is of the Barça youth system, which is currently working with 278 children of 18 different nationalities. Convinced that the appeal will be successful, the president insisted that the club “will not be changing our plans for next season.”

    He also stated that “FC Barcelona is completely committed to the protection of minors” and has nothing but respect for the FIFA’s regulations on the status and transfer of players. “Minors must be protected and safeguarded against being used as commodities by unscrupulous people who are not concerned about what is best for their future, and only want to make financial gains. But that is not the case with Barça.”

    Relations with FIFA

    Bartomeu explained that the FIFA sanction was drafted on November 8, 2013 but that the club was not told about it until Wednesday April 2. “We have continued having relations with FIFA since November. After deciding on the sanction, they continued asking for information about young players” he said. “Through our legal services, we shall fight to the end against this punishment”.

    The president ended by saying that he has yet to talk to FIFA president FIFA, Joseph Blatter. “I will speak to Blatter, but he’s travelling at the moment” he said. “We still have to speak on the phone, although I have spoken to the Secretary General of FIFA and he also agrees that the measure is excessive … we have enough reason and ideas for this sanction to be withdrawn.”

    .


    Josep Maria Bartomeu was speaking in the Ricard Maxenchs pressroom / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    The FC Barcelona president insists that “we are annoyed because we feel we are the victims of a gross injustice” "Barça's sports plan will remain the same" added Bartomeu

    Bartomeu defends model in Marrakesh

    In December 2013, when he was still vice-president, Josep Maria Bartomeu was in Marrakesh on occasion of the FIFA World Clubs Cup, where he was asked to defend Barça’s youth system. "The best way to protect minors is to guarantee their access to opportunities in life" he said that day, when he commented that there was a need to find a solution for this issue.

    Josep Maria Bartomeu has spoken about how unhappy the club is with thesanction imposed by the FIFA Disciplinary Commission for violations of its regulations on the transfer and registration of players aged under 18. “We are annoyed because we feel we are the victims of a gross injustice”, he told a press conference this evening. "It is an excessive measure."

    The president insists that “the Masia is not to be touched … it is a model that made us world leaders in football for the last ten years.” He pointed out that youth system has produced some fine home-grown talent over the years, including Leo Messi, Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta, “who have received awards from FIFA itself”.

    No change to plans

    Bartomeu went on to explain that in collaboration with the Spanish Football Federation, the Club will be presenting an appeal to FIFA. “We have ten days to put together an appeal, but before that we shall be informing the Appeals Commission of our intention to appeal within the first three days” he explained. The club will request a suspended sentence, and if this is accepted, then the sanction will not become effective until the appeal is resolved, and only if it is ratified. "If we have to, we’ll go to the TAS", he said, referring to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, going on to say how proud he is of the Barça youth system, which is currently working with 278 children of 18 different nationalities. Convinced that the appeal will be successful, the president insisted that the club “will not be changing our plans for next season.”

    He also stated that “FC Barcelona is completely committed to the protection of minors” and has nothing but respect for the FIFA’s regulations on the status and transfer of players. “Minors must be protected and safeguarded against being used as commodities by unscrupulous people who are not concerned about what is best for their future, and only want to make financial gains. But that is not the case with Barça.”

    Relations with FIFA

    Bartomeu explained that the FIFA sanction was drafted on November 8, 2013 but that the club was not told about it until Wednesday April 2. “We have continued having relations with FIFA since November. After deciding on the sanction, they continued asking for information about young players” he said. “Through our legal services, we shall fight to the end against this punishment”.

    The president ended by saying that he has yet to talk to FIFA president FIFA, Joseph Blatter. “I will speak to Blatter, but he’s travelling at the moment” he said. “We still have to speak on the phone, although I have spoken to the Secretary General of FIFA and he also agrees that the measure is excessive … we have enough reason and ideas for this sanction to be withdrawn.”

    .


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  • 04/04/14--03:01: Referendum day activities
  • Plànol activitats dia del referèndum
    FC Barcelona members to decide the future of the Espai Barça project on April 5 118,580 members have been invited to vote in the Referendum The Club has scheduled lots of activities and events for Club members for the hours leading up to kick off between FC Barcelona and Betis

    FC Barcelona, the member’s Club

    FC Barcelona is “more than a club” in Catalonia because it is the sports club that most represents the country and is also one of its greatest ambassadors. [+] VIEW MORE

    [[DES_1]]

    Saturday 5th April is day of the Referendum for the New Espai Barça, and the Club has prepared a whole series of activities for the whole family, in the hope that many Barça followers will turn up and make the day a complete success. The Stadium Esplanade is the place where all the activities, for people of all ages, will take place.

    ESPAI BARÇA

    President Josep Maria Bartomeu said that “the campaign has gone down very well among the members", and added that “what we really want is a good turnout, for people to come and voice their opinions. I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday for what they think would be best for the Club".

    Saturday is all about the Referendum and it's success if many members exercise their right to vote, but it's also a day of fun for all the family.

    The activities area will be open from 9 am to 3.30 pm, and admission is free for both members and their guests. In order to be able to enjoy all the activities and gain access to the installations members will need to show their membership cards at the accreditation points. Each member can bring up to 4 guests to enjoy the festive day out.

    Planned activities

    Amongst the exlusive activities on show, you can look for the tent that simulates the Barça dressing room, have your photo taken, and book your visit to the first team dressing room in June. You can also have your photo taken with the four Champions league Trophies.

    Workshops and games for everyone:

    Beat the goalie, face painting, table football, workshops for making key rings, badges, wristbans, handball, basketball and hockey games, are just some of the activities available, as well as the FC Barcelona Foundation exhibition.

    Get to know the Club from the inside

    •     Pay a visit to the old Masia.
    •     Visit the FC Barcelona Museum.
    •     Visit the Ice Rink.


    All activities are free for members and guests.

    Don't forget to vote

    And most importantly, your vote counts, so don't forget to vote YES or NO for the New Espai Barça

    This Saturday FC Barcelona will live another democratic day with the referendum on the proposed New Espai Barça. A total of 118,579 members have been invited to the polls to vote yes or no to the question "I approve the proposal of the New Camp Nou, Espai Barça and the New Palau Blaugrana". It will be the second referendum in the history of the Club.

    From 9 am to 9 pm voting will be open, this time in a new location: The new site will be located on the esplanade in front of the Auditorium 1899, where several tents have been set up to hold the 180 polling stations , arranged alphabetically by members surnames.

    To exercise the right to vote you must identify yourself at the table with your DNI card, or passport or driving license, and they must still be valid. Remember that the conditions for voting are: being an adult, having membership for one year at least, not being on the suspended member list, and being included in the electoral roll . Also, the vote must be made in person, it cannot be delegated.

    For any doubts, the Barcelona Supporter Services Office (OAB) will extend its hours on Saturday (8am to 11pm) to be able to answer any query.

    Excercise your right to vote on important FC Barcelona matters, and have a great day out at the same time!!


    Plànol activitats dia del referèndum
    FC Barcelona members to decide the future of the Espai Barça project on April 5 118,580 members have been invited to vote in the Referendum The Club has scheduled lots of activities and events for Club members for the hours leading up to kick off between FC Barcelona and Betis

    FC Barcelona, the member’s Club

    FC Barcelona is “more than a club” in Catalonia because it is the sports club that most represents the country and is also one of its greatest ambassadors. [+] VIEW MORE

    [[DES_1]]

    Saturday 5th April is day of the Referendum for the New Espai Barça, and the Club has prepared a whole series of activities for the whole family, in the hope that many Barça followers will turn up and make the day a complete success. The Stadium Esplanade is the place where all the activities, for people of all ages, will take place.

    ESPAI BARÇA

    President Josep Maria Bartomeu said that “the campaign has gone down very well among the members", and added that “what we really want is a good turnout, for people to come and voice their opinions. I call upon the members to come and vote on Saturday for what they think would be best for the Club".

    Saturday is all about the Referendum and it's success if many members exercise their right to vote, but it's also a day of fun for all the family.

    The activities area will be open from 9 am to 3.30 pm, and admission is free for both members and their guests. In order to be able to enjoy all the activities and gain access to the installations members will need to show their membership cards at the accreditation points. Each member can bring up to 4 guests to enjoy the festive day out.

    Planned activities

    Amongst the exlusive activities on show, you can look for the tent that simulates the Barça dressing room, have your photo taken, and book your visit to the first team dressing room in June. You can also have your photo taken with the four Champions league Trophies.

    Workshops and games for everyone:

    Beat the goalie, face painting, table football, workshops for making key rings, badges, wristbans, handball, basketball and hockey games, are just some of the activities available, as well as the FC Barcelona Foundation exhibition.

    Get to know the Club from the inside

    •     Pay a visit to the old Masia.
    •     Visit the FC Barcelona Museum.
    •     Visit the Ice Rink.


    All activities are free for members and guests.

    Don't forget to vote

    And most importantly, your vote counts, so don't forget to vote YES or NO for the New Espai Barça

    This Saturday FC Barcelona will live another democratic day with the referendum on the proposed New Espai Barça. A total of 118,579 members have been invited to the polls to vote yes or no to the question "I approve the proposal of the New Camp Nou, Espai Barça and the New Palau Blaugrana". It will be the second referendum in the history of the Club.

    From 9 am to 9 pm voting will be open, this time in a new location: The new site will be located on the esplanade in front of the Auditorium 1899, where several tents have been set up to hold the 180 polling stations , arranged alphabetically by members surnames.

    To exercise the right to vote you must identify yourself at the table with your DNI card, or passport or driving license, and they must still be valid. Remember that the conditions for voting are: being an adult, having membership for one year at least, not being on the suspended member list, and being included in the electoral roll . Also, the vote must be made in person, it cannot be delegated.

    For any doubts, the Barcelona Supporter Services Office (OAB) will extend its hours on Saturday (8am to 11pm) to be able to answer any query.

    Excercise your right to vote on important FC Barcelona matters, and have a great day out at the same time!!


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    Les portes de les carpes de votació s'han obert a les 9 del matí / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Chronological account of how the the vote on the proposal of the New Espai Barça went this Saturday, April 5

    .


    Les portes de les carpes de votació s'han obert a les 9 del matí / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Chronological account of how the the vote on the proposal of the New Espai Barça went this Saturday, April 5

    .


    0 0

    'La Masia no es toca', el lema de la pancarta desplegada al Camp Nou en defensa del model formatiu del FC Barcelona / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Before the match against Betis, a massive banner graced the Camp Nou stand that read "La Masia no se toca" (La Masia is not to be touched)

    Before kick off this Saturday afternoon at the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona responded to the sanction put in place by FIFA with a massive banner that read “La Masia no se toca” (La Masia is not to be touched).

    In a press conference on Thursday, President Josep Maria Bartomeu defended the Club and explained that Barça have made contact with FIFA.


    'La Masia no es toca', el lema de la pancarta desplegada al Camp Nou en defensa del model formatiu del FC Barcelona / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Before the match against Betis, a massive banner graced the Camp Nou stand that read "La Masia no se toca" (La Masia is not to be touched)

    Before kick off this Saturday afternoon at the Camp Nou, FC Barcelona responded to the sanction put in place by FIFA with a massive banner that read “La Masia no se toca” (La Masia is not to be touched).

    In a press conference on Thursday, President Josep Maria Bartomeu defended the Club and explained that Barça have made contact with FIFA.


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    Areal view of the New Espai Barça
    "Days like today are when the world sees what FC Barcelona is and means," says President Bartomeu He adds: "The support for the New Espai Barça proposal has been extraordinary"

    VOTE RESULTS

    YES 27,161 (72.36%) 

    NO 9,589 (25.55%)

    ABSTENTIONS 751

    NULL 34

    Turnout: 37,535 socis (31.65%)

    Club members flocked to the Camp Nou this Saturday to vote on the proposed New Espai Barça project. In addition to voting, members enjoyed an array of activities programmed by the Club which included games for children, workshops, face painting, musical performances, and more.

    Without a doubt, today was a manifestation of the Club’s democratic values and its slogan is “More than a Club.” FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.com, “I’m very satisfied. It’s a great day, a democratic festival for the Barça members. Voting made me very happy, as did seeing so many votes cast by members. It’s a huge project that will improve the Club for years to come.”

    He continued: “The most important thing is that the members decide [the future of the Club] in a massive way. We should give an example of our democratic values, and the whole world will see it.” He added: “The members have given me strength. We will continue to work very hard like we always have and we continue to solve problems.”

    Members vote YES

    A total of 27,161 (72.36%) Club members backed the New Espai Barça proposal, which means that the project will move forward.The results of the vote were given by President Bartomeu in a press conference that started shortly after 9:00 PM CET. After he announced the vote tally, he declared, “days like today are when the world sees what FC Barcelona is and means.” He added: “The support for the Espai Barça proposal has been extraordinary.”

    ESPAI BARÇA

    The Espai Barça project goes well beyond the reconstruction and remodeling of the Camp Nou. In addition to increasing the capacity of the current stadium to 105,000 and completely remodeling the current structure of the Camp Nou, the Espai Barça project entails building a new Palau Blaugrana with a capacity of 12,000, an additional court with a capacity of 2,000, an ice rink, a new Social Area, a new Commercial Area, revamped Club offices, La Masía and adding 5,000 parking spaces. If the proposal is approved, the year for completion of the New Espai Barça is 2021, as seen in the below graph:


    Areal view of the New Espai Barça
    "Days like today are when the world sees what FC Barcelona is and means," says President Bartomeu He adds: "The support for the New Espai Barça proposal has been extraordinary"

    VOTE RESULTS

    YES 27,161 (72.36%) 

    NO 9,589 (25.55%)

    ABSTENTIONS 751

    NULL 34

    Turnout: 37,535 socis (31.65%)

    Club members flocked to the Camp Nou this Saturday to vote on the proposed New Espai Barça project. In addition to voting, members enjoyed an array of activities programmed by the Club which included games for children, workshops, face painting, musical performances, and more.

    Without a doubt, today was a manifestation of the Club’s democratic values and its slogan is “More than a Club.” FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.com, “I’m very satisfied. It’s a great day, a democratic festival for the Barça members. Voting made me very happy, as did seeing so many votes cast by members. It’s a huge project that will improve the Club for years to come.”

    He continued: “The most important thing is that the members decide [the future of the Club] in a massive way. We should give an example of our democratic values, and the whole world will see it.” He added: “The members have given me strength. We will continue to work very hard like we always have and we continue to solve problems.”

    Members vote YES

    A total of 27,161 (72.36%) Club members backed the New Espai Barça proposal, which means that the project will move forward.The results of the vote were given by President Bartomeu in a press conference that started shortly after 9:00 PM CET. After he announced the vote tally, he declared, “days like today are when the world sees what FC Barcelona is and means.” He added: “The support for the Espai Barça proposal has been extraordinary.”

    ESPAI BARÇA

    The Espai Barça project goes well beyond the reconstruction and remodeling of the Camp Nou. In addition to increasing the capacity of the current stadium to 105,000 and completely remodeling the current structure of the Camp Nou, the Espai Barça project entails building a new Palau Blaugrana with a capacity of 12,000, an additional court with a capacity of 2,000, an ice rink, a new Social Area, a new Commercial Area, revamped Club offices, La Masía and adding 5,000 parking spaces. If the proposal is approved, the year for completion of the New Espai Barça is 2021, as seen in the below graph:


    0 0

    Puyol, votant en el Referèndum. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
    The referendum to decide on the future of the proposals for the New Espai Barça is going ahead today in a festival atmosphere More than 118,000 members have been called on to exercise their democratic right in what is a singular event in world football The Club president, together with players and coaches from all the different sports sections have been making their way to the Camp Nou to cast their votes

    Declarations made by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu

    Declarations made by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu immediately after casting his vote in the referendum: “At Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”

    “Today is a great day for Barça democracy. It’s a chance for the membership to show the whole world that at Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”.

    “It’s yet another example of how our players really feel part of this Club and express their opinions on a day like today when we are deciding on the future of Barça”.

    A total of 180 electoral tables have been open since 9 o’clock this morning for the referendum on the New Espai Barça. The question being voted on is: “Do you agree with the proposal for the New Camp Nou, the Espai Barça and the New Palau Blaugrana?” The more than 118,000 members registered on the census will decide whether to accept the large-scale remodelling of the Camp Nou and the construction of a basketball pavilion plus a new stadium for the reserve and youth teams. By 1 pm, some 11,730 members had cast their votes (9.89% of the census).

    Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu had voted an hour earlier and told us. “Today is a great day for Barça democracy. It’s a chance for the membership to show the whole world that at Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”. Many of the players had also already voted prompting the president to remark: “It’s yet another example of how our players really feel part of this Club and express their opinions on a day like today when we are deciding on the future of Barça”.

    Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Pedro, Cesc and Busquets

    During the morning, a number of first team players such as Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Pedro, Cesc and Busquets arrived at the Camp Nou to cast their votes as Club members before joining the rest of their team-mates ahead of tonight’s match against Betis. Players and coaches from the other sports sections, including basketball captain Joan Carles Navarro and coach Xavi Pascual, also joined the stream of members waiting to deposit their votes.

    Today’s referendum will decide the fate of the Espai Barça, a project scheduled to start in the summer of 2017 and continue until the beginning of 2021, and costing some 600 million euros (725 million dollars). 420 million euros will be devoted to a wide scale remodelling of the main stadium which will include cover for every tier and an increase in capacity to 105,000 seats. There would also be a new multi-sport pavilion with a capacity for 12,000 spectators, a new Miniestadi at the Ciutat Esportiva and a reorganisation of the areas surrounding the stadium. The project was made public on 5th March and since then more than 50, 000 people have taken the opportunity to find out about it at first hand.

    This referendum is the second in the Club’s history. The first took place in 1950, when the country was suffering under the dictatorship of General Franco and democratic rights were non-existent. Despite this, the Board of the day called on the membership to decide whether they wanted to move from the then Corts stadium and build a new one, the Camp Nou.


    Puyol, votant en el Referèndum. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
    The referendum to decide on the future of the proposals for the New Espai Barça is going ahead today in a festival atmosphere More than 118,000 members have been called on to exercise their democratic right in what is a singular event in world football The Club president, together with players and coaches from all the different sports sections have been making their way to the Camp Nou to cast their votes

    Declarations made by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu

    Declarations made by Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu immediately after casting his vote in the referendum: “At Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”

    “Today is a great day for Barça democracy. It’s a chance for the membership to show the whole world that at Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”.

    “It’s yet another example of how our players really feel part of this Club and express their opinions on a day like today when we are deciding on the future of Barça”.

    A total of 180 electoral tables have been open since 9 o’clock this morning for the referendum on the New Espai Barça. The question being voted on is: “Do you agree with the proposal for the New Camp Nou, the Espai Barça and the New Palau Blaugrana?” The more than 118,000 members registered on the census will decide whether to accept the large-scale remodelling of the Camp Nou and the construction of a basketball pavilion plus a new stadium for the reserve and youth teams. By 1 pm, some 11,730 members had cast their votes (9.89% of the census).

    Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu had voted an hour earlier and told us. “Today is a great day for Barça democracy. It’s a chance for the membership to show the whole world that at Barça we vote when there’s an important decision to be taken”. Many of the players had also already voted prompting the president to remark: “It’s yet another example of how our players really feel part of this Club and express their opinions on a day like today when we are deciding on the future of Barça”.

    Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Pedro, Cesc and Busquets

    During the morning, a number of first team players such as Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Piqué, Pedro, Cesc and Busquets arrived at the Camp Nou to cast their votes as Club members before joining the rest of their team-mates ahead of tonight’s match against Betis. Players and coaches from the other sports sections, including basketball captain Joan Carles Navarro and coach Xavi Pascual, also joined the stream of members waiting to deposit their votes.

    Today’s referendum will decide the fate of the Espai Barça, a project scheduled to start in the summer of 2017 and continue until the beginning of 2021, and costing some 600 million euros (725 million dollars). 420 million euros will be devoted to a wide scale remodelling of the main stadium which will include cover for every tier and an increase in capacity to 105,000 seats. There would also be a new multi-sport pavilion with a capacity for 12,000 spectators, a new Miniestadi at the Ciutat Esportiva and a reorganisation of the areas surrounding the stadium. The project was made public on 5th March and since then more than 50, 000 people have taken the opportunity to find out about it at first hand.

    This referendum is the second in the Club’s history. The first took place in 1950, when the country was suffering under the dictatorship of General Franco and democratic rights were non-existent. Despite this, the Board of the day called on the membership to decide whether they wanted to move from the then Corts stadium and build a new one, the Camp Nou.


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    Referèndum
    Press conference to assess the results of the Referendum on the New Espai Barça, once the voting process has finished (April 5th)

    .


    Referèndum
    Press conference to assess the results of the Referendum on the New Espai Barça, once the voting process has finished (April 5th)

    .


    0 0

    Bartomeu, Arroyo, Faus and Rossich / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    The official timeline for the new Espai Barça project will be revealed at the end of the season

    The timeline for the New Espai Barça project will be revealed after the season comes to an end. “The first thing we’ll do is create and organise a work team. We’ve always said that the Club requires daily upkeep when it comes to the economy, patrimony, community, and supporters clubs … We want to create a team that will have a certain amount of independence, it will operate in parallel with the Executive Team,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu after the results of the referendum were announced.

    Constructions to start in 2017

    The president went on to say that “in 2021 we’ll have the new Camp Nou, and it will be a source of pride for all Barça fans.” It’s worth nothing that the renovation costs total 600 million euros, and that construction is set to begin in 2017 and will go through 2021.

    Before the completion of the project, however, in the summer of 2019, the new Palau Blaugrana will be completed. The Espai Barça project also encompasses complimentary renovations for the Stadium and the Palau.

    Bartomeu concluded by saying: “A lot of members came up to me and told me they were voting yes on the project that they will likely never see completed due to their age, but they came out to vote to guarantee a better future for the Camp Nou and the team for their grandchildren.”

     


    Bartomeu, Arroyo, Faus and Rossich / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    The official timeline for the new Espai Barça project will be revealed at the end of the season

    The timeline for the New Espai Barça project will be revealed after the season comes to an end. “The first thing we’ll do is create and organise a work team. We’ve always said that the Club requires daily upkeep when it comes to the economy, patrimony, community, and supporters clubs … We want to create a team that will have a certain amount of independence, it will operate in parallel with the Executive Team,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu after the results of the referendum were announced.

    Constructions to start in 2017

    The president went on to say that “in 2021 we’ll have the new Camp Nou, and it will be a source of pride for all Barça fans.” It’s worth nothing that the renovation costs total 600 million euros, and that construction is set to begin in 2017 and will go through 2021.

    Before the completion of the project, however, in the summer of 2019, the new Palau Blaugrana will be completed. The Espai Barça project also encompasses complimentary renovations for the Stadium and the Palau.

    Bartomeu concluded by saying: “A lot of members came up to me and told me they were voting yes on the project that they will likely never see completed due to their age, but they came out to vote to guarantee a better future for the Camp Nou and the team for their grandchildren.”

     


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    El hijo de Piqué, Milan, acompañó a su padre a votar / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
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    El hijo de Piqué, Milan, acompañó a su padre a votar / FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
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    Passaport infantil.
    The Board of Directors approved a series of changes to the Club's Social Area. They were explained today by vice-president Jordi Cardoner

    On 30 June of 2014, there will be a total of 20,381 FC Barcelona members under the age of 8 (5,369 who live in Barcelona, 9,555 from the Barcelona province, 2,351 from Catalonia and 3,106 from the rest of the state and foreign countries).

    The children will be able to request a free ticket to any home match with the exceptions of the games against Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, the 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 Champions League ties, and the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

    The limits for ticket requests are still in place. These limits include the following points: The ticket program only goes into effect for games that kick off at family-friendly times (Saturday at 16.00 and 18.00 and Sunday at 12.00). The Club guarantees 3,000 tickets per match, which are allocated in the order tickets are requested. Members with the Infantil Member Passport will get priority in the ticket allocation process.

    Children under the age of eight who are not members can request tickets from six days to 24 hours before a game on the Club’s official website. In addition to the website, tickets can be requested at the Club’s ticketing office in person starting six days before a game to right before kick off.

    The second change Club members should be aware of has to do with members over the age of 65 who have been members for 40 years, who have the member card for free of charge. Many of these members have season tickets to the Camp Nou, and starting now, they will be able to ceed their membership to an adult Club member.

    The third change has to do members who do not have season tickets to the Camp Nou. This group will get a free ticket to the Solidarity Match, which is usually the first Cup game of the season played at the Camp Nou, and they’ll get a 50% ticket discount for matches that usually register low attendance.


    Passaport infantil.
    The Board of Directors approved a series of changes to the Club's Social Area. They were explained today by vice-president Jordi Cardoner

    On 30 June of 2014, there will be a total of 20,381 FC Barcelona members under the age of 8 (5,369 who live in Barcelona, 9,555 from the Barcelona province, 2,351 from Catalonia and 3,106 from the rest of the state and foreign countries).

    The children will be able to request a free ticket to any home match with the exceptions of the games against Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, the 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 Champions League ties, and the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

    The limits for ticket requests are still in place. These limits include the following points: The ticket program only goes into effect for games that kick off at family-friendly times (Saturday at 16.00 and 18.00 and Sunday at 12.00). The Club guarantees 3,000 tickets per match, which are allocated in the order tickets are requested. Members with the Infantil Member Passport will get priority in the ticket allocation process.

    Children under the age of eight who are not members can request tickets from six days to 24 hours before a game on the Club’s official website. In addition to the website, tickets can be requested at the Club’s ticketing office in person starting six days before a game to right before kick off.

    The second change Club members should be aware of has to do with members over the age of 65 who have been members for 40 years, who have the member card for free of charge. Many of these members have season tickets to the Camp Nou, and starting now, they will be able to ceed their membership to an adult Club member.

    The third change has to do members who do not have season tickets to the Camp Nou. This group will get a free ticket to the Solidarity Match, which is usually the first Cup game of the season played at the Camp Nou, and they’ll get a 50% ticket discount for matches that usually register low attendance.


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    Arroyo and Cardoner / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Manel Arroyo,Club vice-president, says “we’re working on an appeal that will give us an interim suspension of the transfer ban” “Zubizarreta has the complete and absolute support of the Board of Directors”, explains Arroyo

    During a press conference held this Monday evening, Manel Arroyo and Jordi Cardoner explained the Board’s decision in regards to FIFA’s two-window transfer ban imposed on the Club. The fifth vice-president said that Club and the Spanish Football Federation are working together to address the matter: “We’re working on an appeal that will give us an interim suspension of the transfer ban.”

    “Total support for Zubizarreta” 

    Arroyo went on to explain that football director Andoi Zubizarreta “has the complete and absolute support of the Board.” The vice-president added that “he has a lot of work in front of him and we want to focus on the sporting aspect of the Club. Obviously everything can be improved, we don’t like what has happened in the past couple of days.” He continued: “We want to have a normal summer. We’re convinced that we will be able to sign new players. It’s a significant ban and our legal team is working so that we’ll be able to sign new players this summer.”

    Arroyo revealed that Barça’s youth system could go through some changes in the coming seasons: “We’ll study the formats in which youth football currently works in order to improve the process. We constantly self-analyse. If there are any processes that take us to the brink of breaking any rule, we’ll revise it. There’s an ongoing internal investigation.”

    Work Commission to be named in the coming weeks

    The vice-president then went on to talk about the recent referendum on the New Espai Barça and the next steps the Board will take to get the process rolling. “It’s a very important request from the Club members that requires a lot of responsibility on our part. We have to be dutiful and detailed in our work. It’s the most important project in the history of the Club.” In addition, he explained that a work commission will be formed in the coming weeks: “In the next weeks or months we’ll announce the Work Commission.”

     


    Arroyo and Cardoner / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
    Manel Arroyo,Club vice-president, says “we’re working on an appeal that will give us an interim suspension of the transfer ban” “Zubizarreta has the complete and absolute support of the Board of Directors”, explains Arroyo

    During a press conference held this Monday evening, Manel Arroyo and Jordi Cardoner explained the Board’s decision in regards to FIFA’s two-window transfer ban imposed on the Club. The fifth vice-president said that Club and the Spanish Football Federation are working together to address the matter: “We’re working on an appeal that will give us an interim suspension of the transfer ban.”

    “Total support for Zubizarreta” 

    Arroyo went on to explain that football director Andoi Zubizarreta “has the complete and absolute support of the Board.” The vice-president added that “he has a lot of work in front of him and we want to focus on the sporting aspect of the Club. Obviously everything can be improved, we don’t like what has happened in the past couple of days.” He continued: “We want to have a normal summer. We’re convinced that we will be able to sign new players. It’s a significant ban and our legal team is working so that we’ll be able to sign new players this summer.”

    Arroyo revealed that Barça’s youth system could go through some changes in the coming seasons: “We’ll study the formats in which youth football currently works in order to improve the process. We constantly self-analyse. If there are any processes that take us to the brink of breaking any rule, we’ll revise it. There’s an ongoing internal investigation.”

    Work Commission to be named in the coming weeks

    The vice-president then went on to talk about the recent referendum on the New Espai Barça and the next steps the Board will take to get the process rolling. “It’s a very important request from the Club members that requires a lot of responsibility on our part. We have to be dutiful and detailed in our work. It’s the most important project in the history of the Club.” In addition, he explained that a work commission will be formed in the coming weeks: “In the next weeks or months we’ll announce the Work Commission.”

     


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    FC Barcelona, first social media club in the world
    Cairo has become the first city to have more than one million FCB fans on Facebook

    In just over three months of the current year, FC Barcelona has gained 20.6 million new followers on social networks, some 210,000 a day, which shows that the worldwide passion for the club is as strong as ever. In 2014, FC Barcelona has continued to consolidate its leadership in world sport after ending last year with 110 million fans on its different channels.

    FCB SOCIAL

    On Facebook, where Barça already has more than 60 million fans, a new milestone was reached recently, whereby Cairo became the first city in the Barça community to have over a million followers. In this ranking, the Egyptian capital is closely followed by Mexico City and Jakarta, Indonesia. It is in the latter that Barça has its biggest community of followers on social networks, with its 5.9 million fans topping the table ahead of Manchester United and Real Madrid.

    The official FC Barcelona website, which now includes nine different languages, its respective Twitter accounts and its profiles created on newer channels, are all testimony of the club’s global investment in communications and its quest to seek the best methods for exploiting its increasingly more global image on different platforms.

    LINE and Sina Weibo, the latest incorporations

    In 2014, FC Barcelona launched a new account on the Chinese Sina Weibo social network, and the club now has six LINE accounts, where it is also the worldwide leader with 19 million fans.


    FC Barcelona, first social media club in the world
    Cairo has become the first city to have more than one million FCB fans on Facebook

    In just over three months of the current year, FC Barcelona has gained 20.6 million new followers on social networks, some 210,000 a day, which shows that the worldwide passion for the club is as strong as ever. In 2014, FC Barcelona has continued to consolidate its leadership in world sport after ending last year with 110 million fans on its different channels.

    FCB SOCIAL

    On Facebook, where Barça already has more than 60 million fans, a new milestone was reached recently, whereby Cairo became the first city in the Barça community to have over a million followers. In this ranking, the Egyptian capital is closely followed by Mexico City and Jakarta, Indonesia. It is in the latter that Barça has its biggest community of followers on social networks, with its 5.9 million fans topping the table ahead of Manchester United and Real Madrid.

    The official FC Barcelona website, which now includes nine different languages, its respective Twitter accounts and its profiles created on newer channels, are all testimony of the club’s global investment in communications and its quest to seek the best methods for exploiting its increasingly more global image on different platforms.

    LINE and Sina Weibo, the latest incorporations

    In 2014, FC Barcelona launched a new account on the Chinese Sina Weibo social network, and the club now has six LINE accounts, where it is also the worldwide leader with 19 million fans.


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    Plan of the Zona Barça (Valencia)
    There will plenty for travelling supporters to see and do in the Barça fan zone being prepared in Valencia for the Spanish Cup Final

    The Barça fans will be making their presence felt in Valencia next Wednesday April 16. Some 20,000 supporters are heading to the city for the Cup Final against Real Madrid.

    And in Parc dels Tarongers (Avinguda Tarongers, 2), very close to Mestalla stadium, they’ll find their very own Barça fan zone, where they can enjoy a whole range of fun activities and also keep up to date with the latest developments in the build-up to the match on Barça TV. The ‘Zona Barça’ will be open from 10 AM to 7.30 PM:

    Concerts

    There will be live bands performing all day: The Uppshitters (2 PM), Itaca Band (3.10 PM), Pirat’s Sound Sistema (4.25 PM) and Dr Calypso (5.45 PM).

    Workshops and activities

    For all ages but especially younger supporters. Here you’ll be able to paint your face in the Barça colours, climb on the Catalan donkey, jump on the trampolines, play foosball and mini-arena football, and also try your hand at traditional Catalan billiards, among many other activities. Pep Callau and Robert Govern will be the comperes.

    Catering area

    Zona Barça will be offering an all-day bar service and rest area where you’ll be able to recharge your batteries for the long evening ahead.

    2.0 zone

    This digital area will be used for videogames and for connecting to social networks, as well as taking part in a sweepstake on the match result.


    Plan of the Zona Barça (Valencia)
    There will plenty for travelling supporters to see and do in the Barça fan zone being prepared in Valencia for the Spanish Cup Final

    The Barça fans will be making their presence felt in Valencia next Wednesday April 16. Some 20,000 supporters are heading to the city for the Cup Final against Real Madrid.

    And in Parc dels Tarongers (Avinguda Tarongers, 2), very close to Mestalla stadium, they’ll find their very own Barça fan zone, where they can enjoy a whole range of fun activities and also keep up to date with the latest developments in the build-up to the match on Barça TV. The ‘Zona Barça’ will be open from 10 AM to 7.30 PM:

    Concerts

    There will be live bands performing all day: The Uppshitters (2 PM), Itaca Band (3.10 PM), Pirat’s Sound Sistema (4.25 PM) and Dr Calypso (5.45 PM).

    Workshops and activities

    For all ages but especially younger supporters. Here you’ll be able to paint your face in the Barça colours, climb on the Catalan donkey, jump on the trampolines, play foosball and mini-arena football, and also try your hand at traditional Catalan billiards, among many other activities. Pep Callau and Robert Govern will be the comperes.

    Catering area

    Zona Barça will be offering an all-day bar service and rest area where you’ll be able to recharge your batteries for the long evening ahead.

    2.0 zone

    This digital area will be used for videogames and for connecting to social networks, as well as taking part in a sweepstake on the match result.


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    Navarro / PHOTO: V. SALGADO - FCB
    Barça's futsal team leave it late against Ríos Renovables, but secure the win in the second half Xavi Pascual's men get a vital victory ahead of next week's Euroleague match The hockey team cruise in the European League and clinch a spot in the final four

    Futsal

    Barça won 0-3 away to Tudela in the penultimate match of the regular season. The Blaugrana put in a good first half, but they were unable to net the chances they created. At the start of the second, Fernandao and then Ortego gave Barça Alusport a two-goal lead, and in the dying minutes, Wilde made it 0-3.

    Basketball

    Barça defeated Río Naturaleza Monbus by 77 to 62 in a match that was decided in the first quarter. Pascual’s men, who were on target and serious, secured their 20th league win of the regular season. This victory, which is very important after three consecutive defeats, gives the team a morale boost ahead of next week’s Euroleague quarter-final.

    Roller Hockey

    FC Barcelona’s roller hockey team are once again in contention to win the European crown. Barça reached the final four of the European League after eliminating Valongo in quarterfinal by 10 to 3. The Blaugrana, who defeated their rival in Portugal by 2 to 3, clinched a spot in the next round in the game played this afternoon at the Palau Blaugrana. The victory was secured thanks to goals from Gual, Reinaldo, Pablo Álvarez (2), Torra, Matías Pascual and Raül Marín.


    Navarro / PHOTO: V. SALGADO - FCB
    Barça's futsal team leave it late against Ríos Renovables, but secure the win in the second half Xavi Pascual's men get a vital victory ahead of next week's Euroleague match The hockey team cruise in the European League and clinch a spot in the final four

    Futsal

    Barça won 0-3 away to Tudela in the penultimate match of the regular season. The Blaugrana put in a good first half, but they were unable to net the chances they created. At the start of the second, Fernandao and then Ortego gave Barça Alusport a two-goal lead, and in the dying minutes, Wilde made it 0-3.

    Basketball

    Barça defeated Río Naturaleza Monbus by 77 to 62 in a match that was decided in the first quarter. Pascual’s men, who were on target and serious, secured their 20th league win of the regular season. This victory, which is very important after three consecutive defeats, gives the team a morale boost ahead of next week’s Euroleague quarter-final.

    Roller Hockey

    FC Barcelona’s roller hockey team are once again in contention to win the European crown. Barça reached the final four of the European League after eliminating Valongo in quarterfinal by 10 to 3. The Blaugrana, who defeated their rival in Portugal by 2 to 3, clinched a spot in the next round in the game played this afternoon at the Palau Blaugrana. The victory was secured thanks to goals from Gual, Reinaldo, Pablo Álvarez (2), Torra, Matías Pascual and Raül Marín.


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    Spanish Cup Final App
    The 'FCB Final de Copa 2014’ gives access to news and videos and lets you interact with messages and photos.

    From Monday, Barça fans heading for Valencia for Wednesday’s Cup Final will be able to download a new application, which is free of charge and available for both  iOS and Android systems. The pioneering initiative aims to strengthen Barça’s position on social media, where it leads the way for sports clubs with more than 120 million followers worldwide.

    The  ‘FCB Final de Copa 2014’ allows users to access all the information related to the game between Barça and Real Madrid this Wednesday, with real time news and videos, as well as alerts when activities start in the Zona Barça, info on how to get to the Mestalla and how to get around Valencia itself.

    Users can also interact on the app’s Fan Wall, via their Facebook and Twitter accounts; posting photos, commenting and sharing message with other app users. There is also a bank of static information concerning the Barça first team squad and the history of the Spanish Cup Finals.


    Spanish Cup Final App
    The 'FCB Final de Copa 2014’ gives access to news and videos and lets you interact with messages and photos.

    From Monday, Barça fans heading for Valencia for Wednesday’s Cup Final will be able to download a new application, which is free of charge and available for both  iOS and Android systems. The pioneering initiative aims to strengthen Barça’s position on social media, where it leads the way for sports clubs with more than 120 million followers worldwide.

    The  ‘FCB Final de Copa 2014’ allows users to access all the information related to the game between Barça and Real Madrid this Wednesday, with real time news and videos, as well as alerts when activities start in the Zona Barça, info on how to get to the Mestalla and how to get around Valencia itself.

    Users can also interact on the app’s Fan Wall, via their Facebook and Twitter accounts; posting photos, commenting and sharing message with other app users. There is also a bank of static information concerning the Barça first team squad and the history of the Spanish Cup Finals.


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    FC Barcelona players
    The players join the Club's fan initiative ahead of the Cup final against Madrid. The initiative allows fans to cheer on the team virtually from anywhere in the world

    Messi, Neymar Jr, Cesc, Iniesta and the rest of the team are preparing for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid. The players know that the fans have been and will continue to be crucial in order to win the title, and that’s why they participated in a Club initiative to ask Barça fans from around the world to support the team.

    To join the initiative one must get their supporter card, which is available at Fan Wall. Through this application fans can personalise their affiliation with the Club with photos and virtually visit the Barça Zone, the meeting point where Culés will gather ahead of the game in Valencia. The Barça Zone will be decked out with massive screens that will show the pictures of Barça supporters. In addition, fans will be able to share their photos with friends, family and other Barça fans on social media.

    The application also has a world map and a counter that will show the different supporter cards of fans that join the movement.

    Approximately 20,000 fans will descend on Valencia on Wednesday, but the many who won’t go can cheer Tata Martino’s men on virtually. It’s worth noting that the Club has also launched an app specifically designed for fans that make the trip to Mestalla.

    FAN WALL


    FC Barcelona players
    The players join the Club's fan initiative ahead of the Cup final against Madrid. The initiative allows fans to cheer on the team virtually from anywhere in the world

    Messi, Neymar Jr, Cesc, Iniesta and the rest of the team are preparing for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid. The players know that the fans have been and will continue to be crucial in order to win the title, and that’s why they participated in a Club initiative to ask Barça fans from around the world to support the team.

    To join the initiative one must get their supporter card, which is available at Fan Wall. Through this application fans can personalise their affiliation with the Club with photos and virtually visit the Barça Zone, the meeting point where Culés will gather ahead of the game in Valencia. The Barça Zone will be decked out with massive screens that will show the pictures of Barça supporters. In addition, fans will be able to share their photos with friends, family and other Barça fans on social media.

    The application also has a world map and a counter that will show the different supporter cards of fans that join the movement.

    Approximately 20,000 fans will descend on Valencia on Wednesday, but the many who won’t go can cheer Tata Martino’s men on virtually. It’s worth noting that the Club has also launched an app specifically designed for fans that make the trip to Mestalla.

    FAN WALL


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    The Palau Blaugrana has witnessed many successes over the years / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE
    All four of FC Barcelona's professional 'sections' will be challenging for European titles over the next few weeks The futsal team are first, with their third consective Final Four in Baku next week If the handball team beat Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the quarters, they'll be into their fourth Final Four in five years

    FC Barcelona may have been knocked out of soccer’s Champions League, but all four of the other professional teams are still in contention for their continental titles, and there is plenty to look forward to over the next few weeks. The roller hockey and futsal teams are already into their Final Fours, and the basketball and handball teams are both close to qualification for the same stage in their own sports.

    Euroleague Final Four beckoning

    Barça are 2-0 in their best-of-three Euroleague quarter final with Galatasaray of Turkey, and a win on Sunday will confirm their presence in Final Four in Milan. That game is at the Palau Blaugrana, and even if they lose, they’ll have two further chances, with game four, should it be required, also being played in Barcelona, and game five in Istanbul. It would be the fourteenth Final Four for two-time champions Barça.

    Barça Alusport first up

    The futsal team will be the first to play its Final Four. The venue is the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, where they’ll face host club Araz Naxçiva in the semi-final on Thursday 24 April (6.00 PM CET). If they win, they’ll face either Dynamo Moscow (Russia) or Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan) in the final on Saturday 26.

    This is be the third consecutive Final Four for the futsal team, who won the trophy for the first time in UEFA Futsal Cup in the Catalan city of Lleida, but last season went out in the semi-finals to Kazakh side AFC Kairat, 5-4.

    Roller hockey on May 3 & 4

    Barça’s roller hockey team are also well on course for yet another European crown. The side coached by Ricard Muñoz are into the final stages of the European League after comfortably beating Portuguese outfit Valongo in the quarters. At a venue as yet to be decided, Barça will face another side from Portugal, Benfica, in the semis-finals, the team that put FCB out of the competition in a penalty shootout at the same stage twelve months ago. If they manage to avenge that loss, in the final eight-time champions Barça will play the winners of another Catalonia v Portugal clash between Vendrell and Porto.

    Rhineland challenge for handball team

    Xavi Pascual’s handball team has the two legs of a quarter-final against Germany’s Rhein-Neckar Löwen to navigate in order to reach the Final Four of the EHF Champions League. The first is in Germany this Sunday (7.15 PM CET), and the return at the Palau will be on Saturday 26 (8.15 PM CET), for which a big turnout from the fans would a major boost to the team’s hopes.

    FCB have already won the Spanish Liga Asobal withour losing a match to date, and are seeking their fourth Final Four in five years. In 2009/10, Barça lost the final against Kiel of Germany, and a year later won the title by beating fellow Asobal club Ciudad Real. In 2011/12, Barça missed out of the Final Four when they lost to Copenhagen in the quarters, and in last season’s final, they lost in overtime to Hamburg.


    The Palau Blaugrana has witnessed many successes over the years / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE
    All four of FC Barcelona's professional 'sections' will be challenging for European titles over the next few weeks The futsal team are first, with their third consective Final Four in Baku next week If the handball team beat Rhein-Neckar Löwen in the quarters, they'll be into their fourth Final Four in five years

    FC Barcelona may have been knocked out of soccer’s Champions League, but all four of the other professional teams are still in contention for their continental titles, and there is plenty to look forward to over the next few weeks. The roller hockey and futsal teams are already into their Final Fours, and the basketball and handball teams are both close to qualification for the same stage in their own sports.

    Euroleague Final Four beckoning

    Barça are 2-0 in their best-of-three Euroleague quarter final with Galatasaray of Turkey, and a win on Sunday will confirm their presence in Final Four in Milan. That game is at the Palau Blaugrana, and even if they lose, they’ll have two further chances, with game four, should it be required, also being played in Barcelona, and game five in Istanbul. It would be the fourteenth Final Four for two-time champions Barça.

    Barça Alusport first up

    The futsal team will be the first to play its Final Four. The venue is the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, where they’ll face host club Araz Naxçiva in the semi-final on Thursday 24 April (6.00 PM CET). If they win, they’ll face either Dynamo Moscow (Russia) or Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan) in the final on Saturday 26.

    This is be the third consecutive Final Four for the futsal team, who won the trophy for the first time in UEFA Futsal Cup in the Catalan city of Lleida, but last season went out in the semi-finals to Kazakh side AFC Kairat, 5-4.

    Roller hockey on May 3 & 4

    Barça’s roller hockey team are also well on course for yet another European crown. The side coached by Ricard Muñoz are into the final stages of the European League after comfortably beating Portuguese outfit Valongo in the quarters. At a venue as yet to be decided, Barça will face another side from Portugal, Benfica, in the semis-finals, the team that put FCB out of the competition in a penalty shootout at the same stage twelve months ago. If they manage to avenge that loss, in the final eight-time champions Barça will play the winners of another Catalonia v Portugal clash between Vendrell and Porto.

    Rhineland challenge for handball team

    Xavi Pascual’s handball team has the two legs of a quarter-final against Germany’s Rhein-Neckar Löwen to navigate in order to reach the Final Four of the EHF Champions League. The first is in Germany this Sunday (7.15 PM CET), and the return at the Palau will be on Saturday 26 (8.15 PM CET), for which a big turnout from the fans would a major boost to the team’s hopes.

    FCB have already won the Spanish Liga Asobal withour losing a match to date, and are seeking their fourth Final Four in five years. In 2009/10, Barça lost the final against Kiel of Germany, and a year later won the title by beating fellow Asobal club Ciudad Real. In 2011/12, Barça missed out of the Final Four when they lost to Copenhagen in the quarters, and in last season’s final, they lost in overtime to Hamburg.


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    Josep Maria Bartomeu
    The Barça president claims that the club is looking to improve Messi's conditions “in adaptation to the current situation in football” “There won't be a revolution, just in-depth restructuring" he said with regard to the squad, which shall remain the duty of Andoni Zubizarreta He added that “there will be no elections because this board was voted in until 2016 and is enthusiastic about its progress"

    Josep Maria Bartomeu has every belief in the leading role of Leo Messi at Barça. Speaking to TV3, the club president insisted that the club is looking to improve the Argentinian’s contractual conditions, as well as commenting on several other issues.

    "I think people are being unfair to Leo Messi” he commented. “He has led us to so many wins in recent years. He has led the team, and done so very well and we have no doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future. He’s a young player, the best in the world and we have every faith in him."

    [[CITA_1]]

    The president spoke about a ‘modification’ to Messi’s contract, saying that “he has a contract until 2018 but we want to make him an offer because we need to adapt to the current situation in football."

    Full support for squad and staff

    Josep Maria Bartomeu also confessed that the club is already thinking about changes for next season. “Some decisions have been made and there are others to be made” he said. “But this is not the time to announce them because we are still playing in a competition. There will be time for that in a few weeks, when we’ll be announcing things as they happen. A lot of work has been done and it has all been good work … There won’t be a revolution, but there will be in-depth restructuring of the football team”.

    Bartomeu also spoke in defence of the players, the coaches and the rest of the people working at the club. He confirmed that “Zubizarreta will be leading the process of restructuring the team … And we have a lot of respect for Martino, we still have five games left in the league and it is our responsibility to be competitive and keep up the pressure on the leaders. A few days after that, I’ll be speaking personally to Tata Martino about other things”.

    [[CITA_2]]

    The president also spoke about his board, insisting that “there won’t be resignations and there won’t be elections. This board was voted in in 2010, and the project we have been implementing all this time ends in 2016. We have two years left and we’re excited about going forward with this. So there will not be any elections".

    Messi has led the team for many years, and done so very well. We have no doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future
    Zubizarreta will be leading the process of restructuring the team, and we’ll be announcing things as they happen

    Josep Maria Bartomeu
    The Barça president claims that the club is looking to improve Messi's conditions “in adaptation to the current situation in football” “There won't be a revolution, just in-depth restructuring" he said with regard to the squad, which shall remain the duty of Andoni Zubizarreta He added that “there will be no elections because this board was voted in until 2016 and is enthusiastic about its progress"

    Josep Maria Bartomeu has every belief in the leading role of Leo Messi at Barça. Speaking to TV3, the club president insisted that the club is looking to improve the Argentinian’s contractual conditions, as well as commenting on several other issues.

    "I think people are being unfair to Leo Messi” he commented. “He has led us to so many wins in recent years. He has led the team, and done so very well and we have no doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future. He’s a young player, the best in the world and we have every faith in him."

    [[CITA_1]]

    The president spoke about a ‘modification’ to Messi’s contract, saying that “he has a contract until 2018 but we want to make him an offer because we need to adapt to the current situation in football."

    Full support for squad and staff

    Josep Maria Bartomeu also confessed that the club is already thinking about changes for next season. “Some decisions have been made and there are others to be made” he said. “But this is not the time to announce them because we are still playing in a competition. There will be time for that in a few weeks, when we’ll be announcing things as they happen. A lot of work has been done and it has all been good work … There won’t be a revolution, but there will be in-depth restructuring of the football team”.

    Bartomeu also spoke in defence of the players, the coaches and the rest of the people working at the club. He confirmed that “Zubizarreta will be leading the process of restructuring the team … And we have a lot of respect for Martino, we still have five games left in the league and it is our responsibility to be competitive and keep up the pressure on the leaders. A few days after that, I’ll be speaking personally to Tata Martino about other things”.

    [[CITA_2]]

    The president also spoke about his board, insisting that “there won’t be resignations and there won’t be elections. This board was voted in in 2010, and the project we have been implementing all this time ends in 2016. We have two years left and we’re excited about going forward with this. So there will not be any elections".

    Messi has led the team for many years, and done so very well. We have no doubt that he will continue to lead the club into the future
    Zubizarreta will be leading the process of restructuring the team, and we’ll be announcing things as they happen

    0 0

    Sepp Maier with Barça's Champions League titles  / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    Bayern Munich's former keeper says that FC Barcelona "are among the best clubs of the world"

    Josef DieterSeppMaier’s visit to the Camp Nou was defined by the man himself as “very special and emotional.” The former keeper, who is considered to be one of the best Germany has ever produced, stopped by the Club’s installations before embarking on a Mediterranean cruise that will take him to the stadiums in the cities of Valencia, Granada, Sevilla and Malaga, among others. “We have to value what Barça have done in recent years,” he said in reference to FC Barcelona’s history.

    Maier, who won the World Cup in 1974 and the Euro in 1972 with Germany, started his tour at the FC Barcelona Museum, where he was accompanied by Museum Director Jordi Penas. The former keeper paid special attention to the Johan Cryuff exhibit and the section reserved for Bayern Munich’s current manager, Josep Guardiola. With Bayern, Maier won four Bundesliga titles, one Cup, 3 European Cups and an Intercontinental Cup.
    [[CITA_1]]
    His visit to the Museum was noticed by German tourists, who then accompanied Maier as he completed the tour of the Museum. Maier also got the chance to sit in the presidential box at the Camp Nou, where he was interviewed by a series of news outlets.

    However, the most exciting moment for the former German international was when he walked out onto the pitch of the Camp Nou. Maier featured at the Camp Nou on four occasions during his career: twice in the Joan Gamper Trophy (1967), Bayern lost 2-1 in the semi-finals and later played in third and fourth place match; and two more times in the same tournament in 1971 – the previous situation repeated itself. “When I was a player, Barça were one of the best teams in the world,” he said.

    When I was a player, Barça were one of the best teams in the world

    Sepp Maier with Barça's Champions League titles  / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
    Bayern Munich's former keeper says that FC Barcelona "are among the best clubs of the world"

    Josef DieterSeppMaier’s visit to the Camp Nou was defined by the man himself as “very special and emotional.” The former keeper, who is considered to be one of the best Germany has ever produced, stopped by the Club’s installations before embarking on a Mediterranean cruise that will take him to the stadiums in the cities of Valencia, Granada, Sevilla and Malaga, among others. “We have to value what Barça have done in recent years,” he said in reference to FC Barcelona’s history.

    Maier, who won the World Cup in 1974 and the Euro in 1972 with Germany, started his tour at the FC Barcelona Museum, where he was accompanied by Museum Director Jordi Penas. The former keeper paid special attention to the Johan Cryuff exhibit and the section reserved for Bayern Munich’s current manager, Josep Guardiola. With Bayern, Maier won four Bundesliga titles, one Cup, 3 European Cups and an Intercontinental Cup.
    [[CITA_1]]
    His visit to the Museum was noticed by German tourists, who then accompanied Maier as he completed the tour of the Museum. Maier also got the chance to sit in the presidential box at the Camp Nou, where he was interviewed by a series of news outlets.

    However, the most exciting moment for the former German international was when he walked out onto the pitch of the Camp Nou. Maier featured at the Camp Nou on four occasions during his career: twice in the Joan Gamper Trophy (1967), Bayern lost 2-1 in the semi-finals and later played in third and fourth place match; and two more times in the same tournament in 1971 – the previous situation repeated itself. “When I was a player, Barça were one of the best teams in the world,” he said.

    When I was a player, Barça were one of the best teams in the world

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