FC Barcelona may be in dire financial straits at the moment, but they are still one of the most valuable clubs in the world in terms of reach and marketing potential. As such, every surface related to the club is still prime real estate. This includes the kits that players are wearing. With the club's sponsorship deal with Rakuten ending by the end of this season, they are now looking for a way to secure a more lucrative deal moving forward.
Barcelona's economic vice-president Eduard Romeu has sprung to action now that the full extent of the club's financial problems have been revealed. Faced with a huge debt, the expiration of the club's contract with Japanese outfit Rakuten is being seen as a prime opportunity to increase the club's revenue next season.
Romeu has revealed that he is looking at opening the bidding at 55 million euros (£46.8 million) for any company that wishes to see its name printed across the Barcelona players' chests.
According to Marca, Romeu spoke to TV3 about the plan, saying: "We're not looking at the current value but the pre-pandemic one. Whoever wants their name to grace this shirt will need to pay."
Securing a multiple-year deal for the shirt sponsorship will help the Catalan giants get their revenue stream flowing in the right direction. On top of that, the club's shareholders are about to make a decision on a 1.5 billion euro loan that will go towards the redevelopment of the Camp Nou and the rest of the club's facilities.
The ambitious project, dubbed Espai Barcelona, is meant to modernise the club's facilities and to make them more accessible to the surrounding community. The real estate redevelopment will raise the value of the club's facilities and bring in revenue opportunities, but only after spending even more money.
Romeu and club President Joan Laporta have a monumental task at their hands, and they need to make some bold moves to turn things around. They are looking at every angle to slash expenses and increase revenue, and it remains to be seen what they can make out of the shirt sponsorship opportunity.