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Barcelona charging to attend open training

Barcelona charging to attend open training

Barcelona is charging fans an entrance fee to watch an upcoming open training session as part of a drive by the European champions to boost revenues.
Club members can invite three guests free of charge for the Jan. 5 training at Mini Stadium, next to Camp Nou, but nonmembers will be charged (EURO)5 ($6.45) to watch Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta hone their skills.
Under current president Sandro Rosell, the heavily indebted club has looked to cut costs and used unprecedented means to boost revenue. Barcelona owes (EURO)369 million ($499 million) and lost (EURO)9 million ($12.7 million) last season despite winning the Champions League and Spanish league titles.
Barcelona said the club has often charged for access to open training sessions, including under former president Joan Laporta's board, and that the fee was necessary for security reasons.
The recent Club World Cup winners signed a (EURO)171 million ($230 million) deal with Qatar Foundation, which became the first paid sponsor to adorn the club's jersey in its 112-year history.
Barcelona scrapped its 80-year-old baseball team and slashed funding to 12 small sports teams earlier this year.
While Real Madrid's debt is comparable to Barcelona's, it did not charge fans to attend an open training session at its Santiago Bernabeu stadium in August, when 57,000 spectators watched for free.


Updated : 2021-06-22 04:34 GMT+08:00