Over the past months, the Swedish streaming service Spotify has been linked primarily with Arsenal. In the end, however, it turned out that Daniel Ek’s company will invest a large sum in FC Barcelona. Will Camp Nou soon be known by another name?
Everything indicates that the financial issues have already been finalized and the sponsorship agreement between “Blaugrana” and Spotify will soon be signed. FC Barcelona is expected to gain around €280 million over three years from the deal.
Spotify will replace Rakuten on the jerseys of both men's and women's teams. Moreover, the legendary Camp Nou, which supporters in Gaudi's city associate with their favorites’ trophy days, will also be renamed.
© Willi Thiel (cc: by-nc-sa)
Although Catalan fans are known for their independence and at the same time conservative slogans, this time the "against modern football" ideology did not help in the fight against the powerful machine of the Swedish giant.
The club has been in financial ruin for several years, and the “icing on the cake” was Leo Messi's departure to PSG last summer, which further highlighted the mismanagement in high places. Barcelona fans are aware that there is a lot to pay for the mistakes of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the highest price could be the renaming of the stadium. It is expected that Camp Nou will take the name of Camp Nou Spotify starting from the new La Liga season, but there is still no official announcement on the matter.
Catalan media report that the signing of the contract with Spotify is also a consequence of the resignation of FC Barcelona’s CEO Ferran Reverter. The economist strongly opposed the sale of the advertising package on the jerseys along with the rights to the new stadium name. According to the Spaniard, the €280 million price proposed by the Swedes was far too low.
As a result of the conflict between Reverter and president Laporta, the first one had to yield. The new-old FCB president, Joan Laporta, reported in mid-2021 that the club's debt is around €1.35 billion, so it should come as no surprise that the Catalan was so keen on the lucrative sponsorship deal.
It is also worth remembering that FC Barcelona still have plans to expand the stadium to a sky-high 105,000 seats. The modernization works at Camp Nou are expected to start this summer, and in the meantime the club will probably face a temporary move to another venue. How the sponsorship deal can be combined with the stadium renovation still remains as a question without an answer.
Update (10.02.2022): Starting from the 22/23 season, Barcelona's stadium will change its name to Spotify Camp Nou. The current deal provides for a payment of €5 million per year, rising to €20m once the new venue is built. The Swedish service had initially planned to sign a 30-year contract, but "Blaugrana" agreed to a period a decade shorter.