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Barca CEO Reverter resigns amid sponsorship talks with Spotify

Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona chief executive Ferran Reverter has 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 euros ($1.5 billion) and has been at the centre of recent discussions over a 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, which will earn Barcelona 280 million euros for three seasons, in exchange for sponsoring first-team shirts and becoming the first company to acquire naming rights to Camp Nou.

Barca signed a 55-million euro per season kit deal with Japanese retailer Rakuten in 2017 but that contract expires at the end of this season and Reverter was among those tasked with finding lucrative alternatives.

He has also been involved in the ‘Espai Barca’ project aimed at renovating Camp Nou. In December, the club’s members voted in favour of borrowing up to 1.5 billion euros from Goldman Sachs to finance the project.

Joan Laporta said last week the club’s wage bill has been reduced by 159 million euros since his arrival as president almost a year ago. According to figures presented by Laporta in August, salaries accounted for 103 per cent of the club’s income.

In a statement, Barcelona praised Reverter for “the restructuring of the debt, approval by club members for the funding of Espai Barca, the reduction of the wage bill, agreements with new partners, and others.”

Reverter said he wanted to “spend more time on personal and family projects”. He added he was leaving a club which “now has a first-class executive team that will be able to reposition Barca as a world leader”.

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