The ambitious Espai Barça project is set to take off at Barcelona imminently, which will see the club begin redevelopment work at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana have already confirmed that they will be playing the next season at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Montjuic Hill with plans to return to the new Camp Nou for the 2024/25 campaign, albeit with a 50% capacity as the stadium will only be fully ready by the time the 2025/26 season.
The ambitious undertaking has been in the works for years now, with former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu laying down the idea back in 2016.
Once the process began, Bartomeu and his board of directors prepared a prospective budget for the project, setting it at a massive value of €600 million.
But as reported by ARA, Bartomeu was warned that the exact cost of the stadium would be much higher than the set budget. Indeed, the report states that experts had informed the former president and his board that the actual amount could be at least 30% more than the budget that was set aside.
However, Bartomeu & co. decided to hide this fact and it has now come to light now with deleted files and documents revealing that the board had buried this information.
Once Joan Laporta took over as president last year, the new administration had experts re-evaluate the entire project and the expected budget. And the cost came up to as much as €1.5 billion.
It is another black mark on the Bartomeu administration, which was involved in several misappropriations during their tenure.
As for the Espai Barça project, Laporta & co. are expecting that the costs could rise further due to the situation in Russia and Ukraine.