You've heard the rumors, and they are true. Barcelona and Nike have a new contract.
The Catalan club announced on Friday an extension of the previous agreement with the North American kit supplier. The statement gives absolutely no detail on duration or money, rather focusing on what the presidents of both Barça and the company had to say:
Josep M. Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona
"Through this new agreement with NIKE we are extending a strategic alliance for the Club, while also reinforcing our global position, hand in hand with the leading global sports brand".
"We are excited by this new agreement and are confident that we’ll be able to celebrate continued sporting successes together".
Trevor Edwards, president of the NIKE Brand
"FC Barcelona is one of football’s greatest clubs, inspiring millions of sports fans across the globe, and we are extremely proud to continue our partnership together".
"Our deep relationship with FC Barcelona extends NIKE's leadership position in football and we are excited by the opportunity to further grow the world’s most global sport".
Although the details of the contract are not yet official, and will be announced in the next Club General Assembly, a report from Catalan outlet Diario Ara claims this is a 10-year, €1 billion agreement between the two parties, the richest kit deal ever signed in the history of the sport. Nike will pay €100 million per season to make the Barça game and training kits for the next decade, a figure higher than Manchester United's deal with Adidas, which is currently the most expensive kit agreement in football.
If the report is accurate and the General Assembly confirms the numbers, this is a sensational achievement by Bartomeu and the board. The club's finances get a big boost, and the shirts will continue to be beautiful every season. Now, Barça hopes to close a sponsorship deal by the next month, and two companies are bidding for it: current sponsor Qatar Airways and Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari.