Barcelona is seriously assessing a proposal from the Grifols family behind the pharmaceuticals company of the same name that would see them acquire the naming rights to the LaLiga football club’s Camp Nou stadium before subsequently seeking to sell on the contract, according to multiple reports in the Spanish media.
Grifols has long been linked to the naming rights, as Barcelona seeks to generate revenue to aid the redevelopment of the Camp Nou under its wider Espai Barça vision. The El Economista newspaper said that while Grifols has previously gone on record to deny its involvement, sources indicate that the offer originates from the Grifols family and directors of the company through Scranton Enterprises, an investment vehicle that operates from the Netherlands.
The Grifols will reportedly seek to buy the naming rights through Scranton and subsequently find a new partner. Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said last year that he expected to get about €300m ($345.9m) from the naming-rights contract, compared to the initial forecast of €200m. The club envisages the contract could extend for 15 or 20 years.
El Economista states Barcelona is seeking €300m up front to aid with the Espai Barça project. The newspaper added that this was the reason it rejected an offer from Mediapro last year, as the agency was seeking to pay for the rights in instalments over 15 years.
El Economista said the Grifols offer ties in with this vision, although Scranton is reportedly seeking a deal running longer than 20 years. The name of the brand attached to the Camp Nou would also change during the contract, with Barcelona having the final say over the name of its stadium.
The El Confidencial newspaper added that Barcelona has agreed to “thoroughly analyse” the offer, which would release funds permitting major work on the Camp Nou to commence at the end of this season.
The club’s legal advisors have reportedly recommended that Bartomeu end negotiations owing to conflict of interest fears concerning sublicensing of the naming rights. However, the Barcelona president is said to be continuing work on the agreement.