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While Jose Manuel Albares advertised in THE SPANISH this weekend that they are looking to “achieve the economic collapse of the Russia of Vladimir Putin“, one of the main companies in the country will continue to maintain an important sponsorship contract with a Russian bookmaker. The FC Barcelona will not suspend or break the agreement you have with 1xBet since 2019 despite the invasion on Ukraine that has everyone in suspense.

England is setting an example with the decisions they are making with the Chelsea for being in the hands of a tycoon close to Putin like Roman Abramovich. He Schalke showed that his pulse was not trembling with Gazprom despite being the main sponsor of the entity. But it is more important for Barça to comply with this contract than to join this veto against everything Russian until their imperialist intentions in Ukraine cease.

Although it is unjustifiable, Barça is going through its worst economic moment in history. It is the main reason why they will continue to count as a global sponsor with 1xBet. The company that came to replace Betfair It is one of the five that contribute the most money to the entity with almost nine million fixed euros per season, which can be up to 12 with the variables. This relationship was one of the last contracts he signed Joseph Maria Bartomeu as culé president and lasts until 2024.

John Laporta has decided to go ahead with 1xBet to balance the accounts 2021/2022 and also to avoid having to indemnify the entity, since it would mean an extra expense. It should be noted that they had established a positive net profit forecast after last season’s red numbers. In addition, as the arrival of Spotify As a sponsor, the club only has 29 contracts, of which two important ones end in the summer: Rakuten y backhoe.

In search and capture

After the invasion of Ukraine, the board and the commercial department of the Barça club studied the possibility of breaking or suspending the commitment, but it has been decided to maintain it. To justify it, the entity explains that the company has its headquarters in Cyprus, although its capital comes from Russia. What’s more, in the nation of Vladimir Putin they cannot operate because they withdrew the license almost two years ago, as a result of a scandal originated in the United Kingdom.

Its founding members are Sergei Karshkov y Romanian Semiojin. They are two businessmen who were sentenced in their country, along with Dimitri Kazorin, which was added later, for scams involving illegal gambling. Now they are in search and capture for the Interpol. An investigation of Sunday Times uncovered that the brand was related to the promotion of betting on children’s sports, cockfighting and an online porn casino with topless dealers.

The image with which FC Barcelona announced the agreement with 1xBet.

FC Barcelona

The British government denied the license to 1xBet, which was also among the main sponsors of illegal sports broadcasting platforms. Russia also discovered that Karshkov, Semiohin and Kazorin operated in the country through a software monitored since Gibraltar illegally. That is why they face a sentence of six years in prison and have seized assets. It cannot be said that they are very loved in their homeland.

‘More than a club’?

Before associating with Barça, the bookmaker reached agreements with various clubs in the Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool y Chelsea. They all broke their agreements immediately. Shortly after, the Barcelona entity closed a deal at the beginning of the financial year 2019/2020which was a record for the entity in profits, months before the coronavirus pandemic broke out. Covid-19.

Laporta is oblivious to this agreement. What’s more, he doesn’t want to sign new contracts with bookmakers. The entity explains that this bookmaker does not have much visibility through official channels; even more so since the Government regulated the advertising of bets. They also ensure that the case is not closed. Between the lines you can read that if they get new sources of income, they will cancel the agreement. The entity is in full search for new companies to help them get out of the rut.

“The skin is the skin.” That is the reflection that is made in Barcelona in the face of this controversy. Laporta has already brought the club closer to Saudi Arabia and has had to cancel an agreement with a crypto company due to the situation of its manager in Israel. Now, in the midst of the war and with the rest of the world censoring Russian money, he will be one of the few to maintain a relationship with a company in this country. The club misses an opportunity to show off its motto: ‘More than a club’.

[Más información: Laporta se desmarca del fichaje de Haaland: el Barça no puede asumir la operación este verano]

Russia-Ukraine War


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