Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu (L) and chief executive of Japanese company Rakuten, Hiroshi Mikitani (R), display Barcelona's new shirt (Image credit: AFP)

Barcelona signs sponsorship deal with Rakuten

Barcelona has struck a shirt sponsorship deal worth £47m ($58m) a year with Japanese online firm Rakuten.

It is one of the biggest football shirt sponsorships yet seen and could make Barcelona wealthier than Real Madrid, currently the world's richest club.

The deal will begin with the 2017-18 season and last for four years.

It will earn the club at least £188m in that time, with more to come if the team wins the Spanish championship or the Champions League.

"This agreement puts us at the forefront of sports club sponsorships, which has always been an objective for the current board of directors," said the Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

He added that negotiations began in 2015 at a dinner in San Francisco organised by defender Gerard Pique, who is a friend of...Read more...