FC Barcelona in talks over first shirt sponsorship
LONDON - Spanish football giant FC Barcelona is in talks with internet gambling firm Betandwin.com, which could see it agree its first shirt sponsorship deal amid reports of resistance from within the club to the historic move.
Contradictory reports have emerged about the talks. A spokeswoman for Betandwin.com told The Observer that the company was in talks with the club about a deal, believed to be worth around £12m a year.
However, the Spanish press has reported that the talks have broken off because Barcelona was unable to meet Betandwin.com's deadline for agreement.
The club has never allowed its shirts to be sponsored before, and factions inside it are fighting for and against the deal.
The Betandwin.com spokeswoman told The Observer that it was unlikely the deal would be completed in time for the start of the next season.
Betandwin.com has more than 2m users, covers more than 50 sports and is available in 20 different languages. Listed on the Austrian stock exchange, it is currently finalising a merger with another internet betting company, Ongame.
If it were to pay Barcelona £12m a year, the deal would top the £50m five-year deal recently agreed between Samsung and English Premiership leaders Chelsea.
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