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Barcelona set to lose record sponsor deal

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Messi (left) and Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar celebrate an Getafe own goal.PHOTO: AFP

Messi (left) and Barcelona’s Brazilian forward Neymar celebrate an Getafe own goal.PHOTO: AFP

SPAIN, May 12 – Barcelona could be set to lose the biggest sponsorship deal in the club’s history, gazumped by their own league.

Qatar Airways are coming to the end of a their Sh4.7 billion (£28million)-a-season deal with the club and after negotiations to extend the deal and raise the annual payment to Sh6.8 billion (£47m) broke down last year there has been little progress made.

Barça have already given the order to Nike to start making their shirts for next season without a sponsor while hoping that eventually they can reach an agreement with Qatar.

But according to Diario AS the club has become aware of negotiations between Qatar and La Liga that would end Barcelona’s chances of renewing a deal.

The Spanish League is also looking for a new sponsor after the bank BBVA confirmed it would not be renewing its partnership with Spanish football’s biggest competition that is due to end in June 2016.

BBVA had been paying the league Sh2.7 billion (£18.5million)-a-season since 2013 but League head Javier Tebas could potentially top that with Qatar.

Barcelona thought they had a new Sh6.8 billion (£47m)-a-season deal with Qatar Airways all-but signed the Qataris stalled last October and the clock is now ticking towards the end of the season with Barça potentially without a sponsor.

Barcelona are talking to other potential sponsors but none is likely to reach the £47m the club believed they would receive from Qatar.

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