Barcelona set to lose sponsors, may dabble in cryptocurrency

The cash-strapped club is set to lose even more revenue from their sponsorship deals

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FC Barcelona have been presented with some new opportunities to help themselves out of their current financial crisis. Recent reports suggest that several cryptocurrency companies have expressed interest in entering sponsorship deals with the wildly famous club, even as they lose some of their existing partnerships.

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The club's main shirt sponsor, Rakuten, has a deal with the Blaugrana until June 30, 2022. However, recent developments have soured the relationship between the two entities. The Japan-based company was not pleased when a video went viral showing first team player Ousmane Dembele mocking Japanese hotel workers as Antoine Griezmann laughed along.

According to Marca, the Rakuten deal has been reduced by 25 million, but there is no indication that this is a direct result of the racism scandal. However, it remains to be seen if the company will commit to the club beyond their current deal. The uncertainty surrounding Lionel Messi's contract is also affecting the sponsorship scenario.


Apart from Rakuten, left sleeve sponsor Beko has also reduced the value of its partnership with the club from 19 million to 10 million euros this season. Their logo will now only appear in training gear until the end of the season, leaving a space vacant in the main playing kit.

This is the space being targeted by cryptocurrency companies, with a long-term plan to take over Rakuten as the main shirt sponsor from 2022. However, the club is reportedly being cautious, owing to the fact that the cryptocurrency market is notoriously volatile.

The club is not keen on getting to involved with a controversial industry, but at this point, they may not have any choice. The truth is, they are so deep in debt and their expenditure is so high that they may not even be able to register their newly-signed players. If the crypto sponsors offer enough cash, the club may be presented with an offer they can't possibly refuse.

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Club president Joan Laporta has made it his mission to keep Lionel Messi, but if he does not act fast, he may not be able to slash the wage bill and generate enough funds to make that happen. He may soon set aside his inhibitions if the cryptocurrency market is the only one that's being loose with the cash in the current economic climate.

Lionel Messi wearing a Barcelona kit with Rakuten printed on it AFP / Josep LAGO
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