FC Barcelona targets Japan for revenue expansion

Spanish La Liga club Barcelona will receive €2 million for each match on its East Asian tour this Northern summer plus a share of gate receipts and are desperate to make further inroads into what is now considered as a primary revenue market outside Spain, according to the finance boss of the Primera Division club Ferran Soriano.

"Barca" are huge in Japan and sell more shirts there than any other country so the Asian nation is rapidly becoming the board’s main focus in terms of financial development. Soriano explained to Soccer Investor (23 May) that there are 3,000 Barca club members inJapan - 859 of whom subscribed during a recent two-week window made available to do so in Japanese onthe club website - and he wants more.

“There is money in Japan and it’s a market that likes football,” he said. “In South America there are lots of fans but no money and what there is of a market is already taken up by Argentine sides such as Boca Juniors and River Plate. In the USA there is money but no fan base but in Japan there is money and no other club comes close to us in terms of popularity.”

Soriano explained that Barca are determined to build their brand internationally rather than locally. "A kid from Santander or Newcastle will buy his team’s shirt but what interests us is that the kid in Singapore or Toronto buys the Barca shirt." The thinking goes along with Barca’s ethos that they are “more than a club” - endorsed in agreements like their recently agreed one with children’s charity UNICEF.