Ferran Reverter has resigned as CEO of Barcelona after the La Liga club agreed on a bumper sponsorship deal with Spotify.
The official line coming out of Barcelona was that “personal and family” reasons were to blame for Reverter’s exit.
But reports from ESPN suggest a disagreement with the club president Joan Laporta was the real reason.
The Spotify deal was the “final straw” for Reverter, claimed ESPN.
Spotify deal big step forwards for Barcelona
When UNICEF became the first organisation to appear on the famous Blaugrana strip in 2006, it was a huge shock.
Since then, Qatar Airways and Rakuten have both donned the La Liga club’s shirts.
But neither of them brought in as much money as Barcelona’s new shirt sponsor will.
Barcelona have reportedly struck up a three-year deal worth over £235 million with audio streaming service Spotify.
First launched in April 2006, Spotify has become one of the world’s biggest streaming services.
Official company data claims Spotify boast over 406 million users worldwide, with 108 million paying customers.
Read: Why do Spotify want to sponsor Barcelona?
Barcelona able to rebuild after Spotify deal
The new deal would see Barcelona earn an average of £78 million per year, compared to £37 million this season.
Whilst Barcelona’s current sponsorship deals would usually have earned £65 million this year, Covid-19 has seen that figure drop below £40 million.
Such figures make for terrible reading, especially given Barcelona’s crippling £1.1 billion debt.
Financial problems at the La Liga club forced them to let go of talisman Lionel Messi in the summer, who joined European rivals Paris Saint-Germain.
This prospect was once unthinkable, given the success Messi achieved during his 21 years with the club.
Messi’s transfer came alongside various other high-profile departures, with Antoine Griezmann returning to Atletico Madrid.
A La Liga salary cap meant Barcelona had no option but to offload their best talents, whilst numerous players have also taken huge wage cuts to meet the league’s cap.
The hope is Barcelona will once again be able to compete for the best players in the upcoming summer transfer window, with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland linked with a move to the club.
Barcelona now sit amongst the favourites to land the Norweigan international, who is expected to leave Dortmund this summer.
Why Spotify chose Barcelona
This isn’t the first time Spotify have targeted a football club. Following the European Super League fallout last year, co-founder Daniel Ek announced his intentions to purchase Premier League Arsenal.
Despite Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke rejecting the bid, it hasn’t stopped the streaming service from venturing into the industry.
Spotify will feature on both the men’s and the women’s shirts, and reports suggest the deal will extend further.
ESPN are also claiming Spotify will become the first-ever sponsor of Barcelona’s legendary home, the Camp Nou, with the title rights to the 64-year-old stadium included in the three-year deal.
Such a decision reportedly influenced Reverter’s resignation, as he disagreed with the direction the club were taking under Laporta’s presidency.
Laporta had brought Reverter back to the club just seven months ago. Yet the CEO’s departure suggests issues remain for Barcelona to resolve in the post-Messi era.