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14.10.2008 14:20

New push for Barça presence in the USA


FC Barcelona will be presenting in New York a new project to become the co-proprietors of one of the new MLS (Mayor League Soccer) franchises that are to be created for the 2010 season.

FC Barcelona is seeking to further their expansion into the United States, and if the deal comes off, they will become the first European club to enjoy direct association with the North American league.

Public presentation in Miami

Joan Laporta, president of FC Barcelona, along with Joan Oliver, the club’s general corporate director will be in Miami tomorrow to present their plans. The negotiations have intensified in recent days as Barça seek involvement in one of the two places that the MLS is offering from 2010 as part of the MLS expansion scheme. Portland, Montreal and Las Vegas are other candidate cities.

Investee company

web_08.jpgThe idea is to set up an investee company involving FC Barcelona and a Bolivian entrepreneur living in Miami, Marcelo Claure, who is the chief of an investment group featuring Americans and citizens of different South American countries. Claure is already the owner of FC Bolivar, with whom FC Barcelona already collaborate.

The company’s sole aim right now is present an application for a franchise and promote it to the MLS. If the candidature is successful, the company will become a reality, otherwise it will fold.

The Barça identity

At this stage, no announcement has been made regarding the colours the new club will wear. However, the idea is to find something that can be identified with FC Barcelona, Miami, Catalonia and the Americas.

chivassfcb_x4x.jpgNeither is there any definitive plan as to the ground the new team will use, although the most likely solution will be Florida International University, with whom negotiations are already at a late stage as the potential club seeks to use the facility for at least the first two years of its existence.
New push for Barça presence in the USA
Looking at American markets
This desire to become co-owners of an MLS franchise is yet another clear example of FC Barcelona’s desire to expand into the American market. In May the club signed a strategic agreement with the MLS to promote the Barça brand in the USA. This alliance established a number of actions in the fields of trade and sponsorship, including the playing of at least six exhibition matches in the States over the next five years, two of which were played last summer.

This step is a further development of the same programme, and would make FC Barcelona the first European club to have an associated team competing in Mayor League Soccer.

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