What Barcelona’s £235m Spotify sponsorship deal means for Daniel Ek and Arsenal takeover



Spotify have completed a £235million deal with Barcelona that will see them become the La Liga giant’s new “main partner” and gain them naming rights to the iconic Nou Camp stadium.

CEO Daniel Ek has previously expressed interest in buying Arsenal from Stan Kroenke, with his initial approach coming just over a year ago in the aftermath of the Super League debacle. But that takeover now looks unlikely to go through with the music giants instead ploughing significant capital into Barcelona.

The Catalan side have had well-publicised troubles with money in recent years, with overspending on player wages causing them to part with Lionel Messi on a free transfer, despite many other senior stars taking pay cuts. It is no big surprise to see them take up Spotify on a deal that will see a significant cash injection.

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Barcelona claim the deal will “bring music and football together like never before” and described the deal as “‘giving a global stage to players and artists at the Spotify Camp Nou Stadium, and building new opportunities to connect artists and players with fans around the world”. As well as the naming rights for the stadium, the deal will also see Spotify’s logo emblazoned on the shirts of both the men’s and women’s teams.

But even at the start of the 2021-22 campaign, Ek appeared to be adamant that he could complete a deal for the Gunners. He was even spotted in the crowd alongside Thierry Henry at the Emirates as Mikel Arteta’s side beat Tottenham 3-1.

Henry, and a host of other Arsenal legends, had reportedly been brought on board as a way to boost the momentum of the bid, with the striker claiming that they were in it for the long run if needs be. Henry was brought onto Monday Night Football and quizzed on the potential bid shortly after his appearance alongside Ek.

“To be able to get there [a sale], you need to have someone respond on the other side,” Henry said back in September. “It hasn’t happened yet, but we and he is here to stay. So, let’s see what’s going to happen. But for the moment, we enjoyed the win yesterday.

“There’s no dialogue at the moment and I feel it’s going to be a long process. I said this the last time I was on the show [in May]. How long it’s going to be, I don’t actually know. But we are here to stay.”

On April 23, Ek shared a tweet expressing his initial interest to purchase Arsenal, writing: “As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”

In a follow-up tweet, Ek confirmed that he had submitted a bid for the club. But with the recent Spotify investment, it remains to be seen what the Swedish billionaire’s position on purchasing the north London side is.





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