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Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
#736950 05/06/20 09:18 PM
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Soccer parents across Canada are out of pocket thousands of dollars after BCN Sports Services Canada closed down operations of its five Barça Academies last week.

BCN has operated academies and soccer camps for six years in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, and most recently Ottawa, under a license arrangement with FC Barcelona.

As a licensee, BCN Sports Services is responsible for the financial aspects of the Canadian operation while undertaking to meet the technical standards set by Barcelona.

Barcelona acknowledged the closing of the Canadian Academies on its website on Saturday. The chain of events caused by the spread of coronavirus was given as the reason for the demise of the Canadian licensee’s operation.

Up to 1,000 youth players across Canada may be impacted by the closing.

On the BCN website, which was still operating as of Monday, the company is described as “one of the leading worldwide service providers in the youth sports industry.” It lists its services and locations as soccer camps and academies in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as clinics in Spain, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.

As the franchise holder, Barcelona’s website lists more than 50 Academies operating on 180 campuses across 5 continents with player registrations exceeding 45,000.

Each year, the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper hosts a Barça World Cup for the global academies. Each academy selects their top players to participate at different age levels although, in Canada at least, the players have to cover the cost.

For Canadian players, the least expensive package was around $2,600 plus air fare with some packages costing significantly more. Payments to confirm a players spot on a team required full payment by January 15.

The 2020 event was scheduled from April 6 to 9 with around 2,100 players and families attending from over 20 countries. However, as the full force of COVID-19 stunned the world the competition was cancelled on March 10. Many Canadian parents expected trip costs to be refunded but it seems that no money was returned.

Meanwhile, other parents were seeking refunds, without success, for soccer camps offered by Barça Academy Canada - the camps also cancelled on account of the medical emergency.

However, late last week frustration turned to anger as parents were told that BCN Sports was filing for bankruptcy.

One parent has already set up a private Facebook group called “BCN Sports and Barça Academy Defrauded Us,” and there over 115 members subscribed in just a few days. Many members of the group are owed substantial amounts of money and there is also word that the group may hire a lawyer to further its claims.

BCN Sports Services Canada was offered, via email, a chance to comment on the situation and parents’ concerns but there was no response.

A FC Barcelona source told me on Monday that the club is working with the agency hired to arrange accommodations for (BCN) families traveling to the Barça World Cup in the hope that some money can be refunded.

Later in the day Barcelona issued an announcement to families regarding Barça Academy projects in Canada. Barcelona informed the families that the club was committed to ensuring that BCN Sports responds to all those impacted by the closures and that the club expects BCN Sports to assume “full responsibility, including financial obligations” originating “from its decision to imminently close the five venues, as well as the Barça Academy Camps”.

How BCN Sports might do all this while working through the bankruptcy process was not made clear by Barcelona.

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Re: Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
Sundevil94 #736962 05/07/20 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sundevil94
Soccer parents across Canada are out of pocket thousands of dollars after BCN Sports Services Canada closed down operations of its five Barça Academies last week.

BCN has operated academies and soccer camps for six years in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, and most recently Ottawa, under a license arrangement with FC Barcelona.

As a licensee, BCN Sports Services is responsible for the financial aspects of the Canadian operation while undertaking to meet the technical standards set by Barcelona.

Barcelona acknowledged the closing of the Canadian Academies on its website on Saturday. The chain of events caused by the spread of coronavirus was given as the reason for the demise of the Canadian licensee’s operation.

Up to 1,000 youth players across Canada may be impacted by the closing.

On the BCN website, which was still operating as of Monday, the company is described as “one of the leading worldwide service providers in the youth sports industry.” It lists its services and locations as soccer camps and academies in Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as clinics in Spain, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.

As the franchise holder, Barcelona’s website lists more than 50 Academies operating on 180 campuses across 5 continents with player registrations exceeding 45,000.

Each year, the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper hosts a Barça World Cup for the global academies. Each academy selects their top players to participate at different age levels although, in Canada at least, the players have to cover the cost.

For Canadian players, the least expensive package was around $2,600 plus air fare with some packages costing significantly more. Payments to confirm a players spot on a team required full payment by January 15.

The 2020 event was scheduled from April 6 to 9 with around 2,100 players and families attending from over 20 countries. However, as the full force of COVID-19 stunned the world the competition was cancelled on March 10. Many Canadian parents expected trip costs to be refunded but it seems that no money was returned.

Meanwhile, other parents were seeking refunds, without success, for soccer camps offered by Barça Academy Canada - the camps also cancelled on account of the medical emergency.

However, late last week frustration turned to anger as parents were told that BCN Sports was filing for bankruptcy.

One parent has already set up a private Facebook group called “BCN Sports and Barça Academy Defrauded Us,” and there over 115 members subscribed in just a few days. Many members of the group are owed substantial amounts of money and there is also word that the group may hire a lawyer to further its claims.

BCN Sports Services Canada was offered, via email, a chance to comment on the situation and parents’ concerns but there was no response.

A FC Barcelona source told me on Monday that the club is working with the agency hired to arrange accommodations for (BCN) families traveling to the Barça World Cup in the hope that some money can be refunded.

Later in the day Barcelona issued an announcement to families regarding Barça Academy projects in Canada. Barcelona informed the families that the club was committed to ensuring that BCN Sports responds to all those impacted by the closures and that the club expects BCN Sports to assume “full responsibility, including financial obligations” originating “from its decision to imminently close the five venues, as well as the Barça Academy Camps”.

How BCN Sports might do all this while working through the bankruptcy process was not made clear by Barcelona.

There was a special on beIN that explained because of the way ownership is set up that Barcelona FC is actually a club that has no money. They pay their players alot and almost run even yearly. Also they have no idea about Canadian or US law in Spain.

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Re: Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
Sundevil94 #736983 05/07/20 11:29 AM
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Why do I care if a bunch of Canucks get their money back ?

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Re: Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
Anonymous #736984 05/07/20 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous
Why do I care if a bunch of Canucks get their money back ?

Your warmth and concern is warming the cockles of my heart. What a Dick.

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Re: Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
Larry Miller #737028 05/07/20 06:28 PM
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They should be playing hockey anyway

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Re: Parents Out Thousands Of Dollars As Barcelona Licensee Shutters Soccer Academies
Sundevil94 #737051 05/07/20 10:52 PM
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I have heard that Barce NY will be going the same way very soon. Especially as all their players are registering for other clubs tryouts... Watch this space.

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