Barcelona have created a mausoleum where fans can pay to have their remains stored – presumably after they’ve been bored to death watching the side’s tiki-taka, don’t-shoot-just-pass brand of football. There we’ve said it. Eat that Craig Foster!
Initially there will be a space for 500 urns at the cemetery of Les Corts, opposite the Nou Camp, but the plan is to incorporate it into a modernised new stadium in the future which will have room for 30,000 urns.
“This is in response to the historical demand from members who want their remains laid to rest at the stadium,” said the club’s director of facilities, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca.
The second phase of the project is to build a larger mausoleum in the stadium where fans can buy large ceramic slabs decorated in Barcelona memorabilia behind which family members’ remains can be stored.
“Memorial Space FC Barcelona aims to be a link with the club forever, a tribute to those who wish to be bound forever to the club,” said Santi Bach, the chief executive officer of Giem Sports, who are partners in the project.
Barca isn’t the first club to offer grave-side tickets to games, with FC Schalke opening a cemetery which overlooks the Veltins Arena in 2012. Schalke were quick to establish that they would make no money from the move. Barca, however, are charging from between €3,000 to €6,000 to buy a space for 50 to 99 years.
So the next time you see Lionel Messi waltzing past five defenders before calmly slotting the ball in the bottom corner, remember he’s been bought and paid for with the corpses of dead Catalans. It’s a far cry from the club that refused to have shirt sponsor for years before finally selling out. At least Real Madrid get their money the old-fashioned way – by racking up vast sums of debt. It’s a footballing tradition.