FC Barcelona has extended its sports sponsorship deal with Rakuten, a global leader in internet services headquartered in Japan, for the 2020/21 season.
The Japanese e-commerce firm, Rakuten will remain as FC Barcelona’s Main Global Partner and Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner, and its brand name will continue to appear on the front of the first team shirt in the 2021/22 season.
The deal began in the 2017-18 season and is due to expire on June 30, 2021. The deal has an option of a fifth year which was available in the original agreement that was executed.
The deal was activated by Josep Maria Bartomeu’s board, before Josep’s resignation in October, and the deal is not reviewable by whoever wins the forthcoming election.
The initial agreement was €55million per year but can rise to €61.5million should all bonuses triggered by winning the Laliga and the Champions League be fulfilled. However, according to reports, the agreement has been reduced due to the financial impact of a post-covid world.
Police raid FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou, ex-President, three others arrested
Spanish police raided the headquarters of F.C. Barcelona, seizing evidence and detaining four people.
Mossos d’Esquadra, Catalonia’s regional police force has carried out a search on Monday morning on all the offices of the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona and reportedly arrested four people in the process.
The raid carried out by the Police was in search of evidence in relation to the “Barcagate” social media scandal that happened in February, where the Catalan giants allegedly paid third party companies to produce disparaging contents about some people including former players that are opposed and critical of former president, Bartomeu’s administration. A similar raid was also carried out in the club last year June.
The companies allegedly hired by the Spanish giants include I3 Ventures SL, NSG Social Science Ventures SL, Tantra Soft SA, Digital Side SA, Big Data Solutions SA and Futuric SA. There were allegations made that I3 Ventures SL were behind fake social media accounts despising as Barcelona fans that produced disparaging contents about the likes of Victor Font, the club’s presidential candidate. It also attacked high profile players like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique and also former players like Xavi, Guardiola, etc.
According to reports, those arrested were former Barcelona president, Josep Bartomeu; the club’s chief executive, Oscar Grau; Roman Gomez Ponti, the head of legal services and Jaume Masferrer, an adviser to Bartomeu. The decision to arrest them was not the court’s decision. The arrests were made by the exclusive decision of the Mossos d’Esquadra. The Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona which is in charge of the case only ordered for a search.
The Catalan giants have been mired in political turmoil and debt prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and this further stains the club’s image.
The raid comes less than a week before the club’s presidential elections are to be held which is coming up on March 7. Three candidates – Victor Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freia – are on the final ballot for the crucial vote.
In a statement, Barcelona has offered to give their full collaboration regarding the ongoing investigations.
The club stated: “Regarding the entry and search by the Catalan Police force this morning at the Camp Nou offices by order of the Instructing Court number 13 in Barcelona, which is in charge of the case relating to the contacting of monitoring services on social networks, FC Barcelona have offered up their full collaboration to the legal and police authorities to help make clear facts which are subject to investigation.
“The information and documentation requested by the judicial police force relate strictly to the facts relative to this case.
“FC Barcelona express its utmost respect for the judicial process in place and for the principle of presumed innocence for the people affected within the remit of this investigation.”
Arsenal star, Aubameyang fined $10,000 by CAF for social media posts
CAF has slapped Arsenal captain and Gabonese striker, Pierre Aubameyang with a fine over “offensive” social media comments.
Arsenal Captain, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, has been slapped with a fine by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after his posts on social media were deemed “offensive and degrading”, by the governing body.
Last month, during the international break, the Arsenal star posted a string of stories on his Instagram handle when he and his teammates were delayed in the airport for more than five hours ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against The Gambia.
The delay led to them sleeping on the floor in the airport and eventually when they left, they had only 10 hours to the match and lost the match 2-1 against The Gambia.
The Arsenal star went ahead and posted a series of photos on his Instagram handle where he wrote:
“Since 11.30pm. still waiting in Gambia and we play tomorrow at 4pm.”
“Nice job CAF, it’s as if we were back in the 1990s.”
“This will not demotivate us but people need to know and CAF needs to take responsibility. (It is) 2020 and we want Africa to grow but this is not how we will get there.”
A statement from CAF read: “Mr. Pierre Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang has publicly published offensive and degrading material that undermines the honor and image of the Confederation of African Football.”
In terms of Articles 10, 11, 43.1, 46, 82 of the Disciplinary Code. “The CAF Disciplinary Board decided to impose a fine of 10,000 USD for breach of the values of sportsmanship and integrity on the Gabonese Football Federation for the regrettable behavior of the player.”
Arsenal becomes first premier league club to commit to UN Sports for Climate Action Framework
The Gunners have become the first Premier League club to commit to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
Arsenal FC, top-flight London club in the English premier league becomes first premier league club to commit to UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, and reinforces its commitment in tackling climate change, after being ranked as the most sustainable Premier League club in a 2019 study by BBC and the United Nations, backed by Sport Positive Summit.
The UN initiative aims to bring together the global sports community with a commitment to align with the goals of the 2016 Paris climate agreement, which includes “to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) – recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change,” amongst the rest.
The signatories to this initiative include FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association), the FA (Football Association), the IOC (International Olympic Committee), and Sky Sports. Apart from aligning with the goals of the Paris agreement, Arsenal also supports the ambition to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The initiative aims to achieve its ambition by adhering to five principles which are:
- Undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility.
- Reducing overall climate impact.
- Educate on climate action.
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption.
- Advocate for climate action through communication.
What they are saying
Arsenal’s Operations Director, Hywel Sloman, said: “Arsenal is committed to leading the way on sustainability among Premier League clubs and we are proud to be the first club to sign up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework.
“Together with our partners, we’ve already implemented a number of environmentally-friendly practices across the club. This includes becoming the first Premier League club to switch to 100 per cent green electricity since the beginning of our partnership with Octopus Energy in 2016, and a new partnership with aluminum packaging company, Ball Corporation, which is designed to help us and our millions of fans around the world reduce our impact on the environment.
“We will continue to use the power and reach of Arsenal to inspire our global communities and push each other towards a more sustainable future.”
Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, Sports for Climate Action Lead at UN Climate Change, said, “Football inspires so many of us around the world and there is a remarkable potential for the game to become greener, more climate resilient, and lead by example for millions of global fans. We are delighted to welcome Arsenal as the first Premier League club to the UN Sports for Climate Action community, as we raise awareness of climate change and use this opportunity to make a difference together.”