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Belt tightening at Barcelona over Nou Camp revamp

FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has announced that planned renovations at the Nou Camp stadium have been put on hold despite the Spanish Liga club revealing a "historic" operating surplus of Eur40 million for the 2011-12 season, reports Sport Business. In a statement, the club said that the operating profit had reduced the club's total debt to Eur320 million, but Rosell insisted that a revamp of the world-famous Nou Camp would not be able to happen until the debt is further reduced.

Last September, Barcelona announced plans to add 10,000 seats and install new VIP boxes at the Nou Camp, which currently has a capacity of 90,000, and also remodel the area surrounding the stadium (Espai Barca) and build a new arena (Palau Blaugrana) for the club's basketball team.

Rosell added that a final decision over renovating the Nou Camp would be put to the club's members for a referendum.

"There are… things that need to happen, but they can't happen until we reduce our debt," Rosell said. "We're taking a step backwards in order to take three steps forward. We will not create the Espai Barca and the Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana renovations will not happen at this time.

"We can't proceed with these projects at this moment, however, we will do them at a later date and the decision will be put to the club members by means of a club referendum. The decision to build a new stadium or renovate the Camp Nou is one we have to live with for the rest of our lives and it needs to be made by the club members."

Speaking about the positive financial results, Rosell said that the club's board of directors would "maintain the club's assets". The club president also stated that the decision to reduce the debt would "not affect the day-to-day business of the club".

Rosell added that the latest results were "extraordinary" on the back of a "rational approach and the sustainability of the model" that has reduced Barcelona's debt by Eur100 million to Eur320 million in the space of two years.

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Dave Williams

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