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SPORT

Barça reaches €280 million Spotify deal which includes stadium name change

The music streaming giant will pay FC Barcelona €280 million ($320 million) over three seasons in exchange for sponsorship on first-team kits and for gaining naming rights of the Camp Nou, a first for the historic but crisis-hit club.

barcelona spotify camp nou stadium
How exactly the Camp Nou will be renamed to include the Spotify name has not yet been announced .Photo: Alessio Patron/Unsplash

FC Barcelona on Monday closed a shirt and stadium sponsorship agreement with Spotify, a deal which will see Barca’s men’s and women’s football teams bearing the Spotify logo on their kits, Catalan radio station Rac1 revealed.

Crucially, the Swedish music company will be the first brand ever to sponsor the club’s Camp Nou stadium, although exactly how the iconic 99-thousand seater will be renamed to include the Spotify name has not yet been confirmed.

The most mentioned new name in the Spanish press is Camp Nou Spotify. 

Barça signed a €55-million per season kit deal with Japanese retailer Rakuten in 2017 but that contract expires at the end of this season.

Barcelona chief executive Ferran Reverter on Tuesday resigned after only seven months in the role for what the club described on Tuesday as “personal and family reasons”. 

Reverter has played a key role in the attempt to reduce Barca’s debts of €1.35 billion ($1.5 billion) and has been at the centre of recent discussions over the significant sponsorship deal with Spotify. 

Barcelona said the resignation of Reverter, who took over as CEO in July last year, will come into effect once a replacement has been found. 

According to La Vanguardia and Marca, the 49-year-old’s departure is more down to disagreements with the club over the Spotify deal.

Barcelona’s previous board, led by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, showed “very serious criminal behaviour”, a lawyer hired by the club said last week.

At the presentation of the club’s ‘forensic report’ into the financial management of Barca under Bartomeu, current president Joan Laporta also said “payments without cause, payments with a false cause or disproportionate payments were found”.

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RUGBY

Spain miss out on Rugby World Cup after appeal rejected

Spain will not figure at next year's Rugby World Cup in France after their appeal against disqualification for fielding an ineligible player during qualifying was rejected, World Rugby announced on Monday.

Spain miss out on Rugby World Cup after appeal rejected

After examining new evidence brought by the Spanish federation, an independent appeal committee “dismissed the appeal”, World Rugby said in a statement.

“In accordance with World Rugby rules, the decision of the independent appeal committee is final and cannot be appealed again,” it added.

The ruling confirmed that Romania will take Spain’s place at next year’s tournament while Portugal — the team Spain beat to seal their place at France 2023 — have taken the spot vacated by Romania in the final qualification event taking place in November.

South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018, featured in two qualifiers against the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021 but was deemed not to have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

It is the second time that Spain have missed out on World Cup qualification on these grounds.

In 2018, along with Romania and Belgium, they were were sanctioned for fielding ineligible players, paving the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

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