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Barcelona members ratify Rakuten, Mission Hills deals

Members of Spanish LaLiga football club Barcelona have voted to approve deals with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten and Chinese sports and entertainment company Mission Hills Group.

Last month, Rakuten agreed a four-season deal, from 2017-18 to 2020-21, to replace Qatar Airways as the team’s main sponsor. The agreement is worth a basic €55m ($57.4m), with the company’s branding set to appear on the front of the team’s playing shirt.

The deal was ratified with 377 votes in favour, four against and five blank.

Meanwhile, Barcelona will now work with Mission Hills Group in a new China-facing partnership after club members approved the agreement.

The partnership will run for 10 years, from 2017 to 2026, with the option to extend the deal for another 10 years.

There are plans to build FCBEscola, a Barcelona-themed integrated resort, on Mission Hills-owned land between Haikou and Shenzhen in China. The facility will feature seven football pitches, each of which will have its own megastore and restaurant area.