Barcelona's American Presence In Jeopardy

The ongoing financial crisis is making the Blaugrana's involvement Stateside increasingly difficult...
Barcelona director general Joan Olive today stated that his club's plans to expand into the United States of America are under threat. quoted him as saying, "We want to enter the American league, but not at the cost of financial risk.

"The chances of us not joining are higher than when we announced our interest."

Nonetheless, the plans for Barcelona to launch a team in time for the start of the campaign in 2010 are officially still on schedule.

"We'll evaluate whether or not the change in the economy in the United States renders our model still viable," he noted.

FC Barcelona, in collaboration with Marcelo Claure, who owns the Brightstar mobile phone company, are looking to make landfall at Miami to join up with Major League Soccer (MLS.)

Theoretically retaining a 30% stake in the new organisation, Barcelona are set to provide no financial backing to the American team, but rather sporting and branding components.

"We'll provide the people, the coach, the technical secretary and the players," said Olive during the unveiling of the plans four months ago.

Barcelona's wavering may in fact be premature, as MLS themselves are yet to approve the plans for the Blaugrana to join. The final application must take place soon, though, as the club would seek to debut in March 2010.

Ewan Macdonald,