Real Madrid’s directors launched the redevelopment project at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as a way of trying to compete with Europe’s state-backed clubs, keen to make the venue a place where economic activity could take place 300 days a year instead of around 40.
However, the work at the stadium has not influenced the club’s current sporting strategy – even if that claim has often been made.
The stadium work has not had an impact on the regular budget, given that it is being financed thanks to a loan of 575m euros from J.P. Morgan that’ll be paid back over 30 years, starting from 2022/23. That loan is counted separately from the regular annual budgets and the money from the US bank cannot be used for anything other than the stadium construction.
The reason that Real Madrid didn’t bring in any new players during the past transfer window – apart from the returns from loan of Andriy Lunin, Alvaro Odriozola and Martin Odegaard – is that they lost around 180m euros in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was the coronavirus and not the stadium redevelopment, therefore, that led to the policy of not making any signings. This economic prudence was deemed necessary and it has helped Real Madrid to maintain financial stability at a time when many clubs around the world are suffering.
The work at the Bernabeu is advancing well and Real Madrid have made the most of the fact that matches are currently taking place behind closed doors, pressing ahead with work at the stadium and instead playing their home games at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano at their Valdebebas training center.
The original plan was for the construction work to be carried out mostly during the summers and partly during the season, but this would have required the dissembling and reassembling of certain structures before and after matchdays. Now, the work can be carried out under a sense of calm.
When the redevelopment is complete, the new stadium should boost Los Blancos’ revenues and help them to ensure they have the best stars of the game on the pitch.