Fans turn nose up at Barça home new name


Spotify Camp Nou naming rights Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

From the 2022-2023 seasons, the iconic stadium of the Spanish professional football club FC Barcelona will be called Spotify Camp Nou (Spain). This was reported by the Catalan radio station ‘RAC-1’.

The ‘Sport Bild and RAC-1’ stated that the new sponsorship deal will rake in the moolah for the deep in debt FC Barcelona to the tune of hundreds of millions!

However, a lot of die-hard fans of the LaLiga club are fuming at the name change of the stadium. The above decision has also not gone down well with a lot of people in Barcelona (Spain).

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded on April 23rd, 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It is the world’s largest music streaming service provider, with over 381 million monthly active users, including 172 million paying subscribers, as of September 2021.

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona (Spain), which competes in LaLiga, the top flight of Spanish football.

The 99,354-capacity Camp Nou is a football stadium in Barcelona, Spain. It opened in 1957 and has been the home stadium of FC Barcelona since its completion.

The ‘Sport Bild and RAC-1’ further stated that Barça has signed a three-season sponsorship deal with Spotify. The Catalans receive €90m for each season, making a total of €270m.

In return, Spotify advertises itself on the jerseys and training shirts of the men’s and women’s teams and also gets naming rights for the stadium. Come Summer, the Barça home will be called Spotify Camp Nou. The deal would come into effect this Summer when Barcelona’s contracts with their primary sponsor, Rakuten, and secondary sponsor, Beko, end. The Rakuten shirt deal was worth €55m a season.

Few fans might fret and fume over the historic stadium name change, but the Camp Nou name will still be a part of the stadium and the Spotify deal will help Barça to come out of the financial morass it presently finds itself in. Following years of mismanagement, the club is sitting on a mountain of debt – around 1.35 billion euros.

The contract between Spotify and Barça is expected to be signed in the next few days. The representatives of the music streaming platform have stationed themselves in Barcelona (Spain) for quite sometime now.

Spotify enjoys over 406 million users worldwide, around 180 million of whom pay money for Spotify Premium. Both values have been rising continuously for several years now.

The music streaming service replaces previous sponsor Beko, which paid significantly less money and also enjoyed no stadium rights.

The Barça fans will have to get used to the Spotify Camp Nou name though a lot of them are screwing up their noses in disgust.

Reverter resigns

FC Barcelona’s Chief Executive Ferran Reverter has resigned after seven months of taking over as the head honcho of the top flight – he became the CEO on July 1st, 2021.

The ‘Irish Times’ quoted the club as saying that Reverter had resigned for “personal family reasons” but the timing was striking and it has been reported that he had had a series of disagreements with the top-notch club President, Joan Laporta, the latest of which was the Spotify deal and his attempts to secure a secondary sponsor for the sleeve.

The ‘Irish Times’ further stated that Reverter had been at the heart of negotiations over primary and secondary sponsorship deals, with reports suggesting that he had conversations with a cryptocurrency company only to encounter opposition from the club’s board.

Spotify faces a controversy after the singer Neil Young demanded the removal of his catalog from the platform because of the continued presence of the podcaster Joe Rogan, whom he accuses of spreading misinformation.

Reverter, the former Chief Executive of the German retailers Mediamarkt, had been Laporta’s first “signing” as President of Barcelona. He arrived with the backing of the Vice-President Eduard Romeu, whose energy company Audax had provided the economic guarantees that allowed Laporta to take the presidency.

Reverter was at the heart of the administration’s attempts to resolve the financial crisis the club had inherited with Laporta recently saying that €159m had been cut off the wage bill. Reverter and Romeu were among those most opposed to soccer giant Lionel Messi continuing at the club at a time when the wage bill was more than 100 percent of the annual income.

He was a firm defender of the super league project and the Espai Barça stadium redevelopment, for which the club took out a €1.5bn loan from Goldman Sachs.

A statement from FC Barcelona thanked Reverter for a series of “targets met”, including the “restructuring of the debt, the approval by the fans of Espai Barça, the reduction of the salary mass, and agreements with new sponsors”. He will continue until a replacement is found.

The Espai Barça development plan goes well beyond modernization and reconstruction of FC Barcelona’s home venue Camp Nou. In addition to increasing the capacity of the current stadium to 105,000 from circa 99,000 and completely revamping the current structure of Camp Nou, the Espai Barça project entails building a new Palau Blaugrana with a capacity of 15,000, an additional court with a capacity of 2,000, an ice rink, a new social area, a new commercial area, revamped club offices, La Masía (read FC Barcelona’s youth academy), and an additional 5,000 parking spots. This ambitious initiative has been in work for several years and is scheduled to be ready for the 2024-2025 seasons. In April 2014, Espai Barça was approved by the club’s members with a budget of $700 million.

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