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Barcelona deny Camp Nou naming rights deal with Mike Tyson's cannabis company - sources

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Barcelona have not yet received an offer from Mike Tyson's cannabis company with regards to buying the naming rights to Camp Nou, a source close to the process has told ESPN.

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Barca announced last week they would sell the rights to their stadium for the 2020-21 season in an effort to raise money for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

A source told ESPN that the club are open to offers from anyone, although they stressed that interested parties must be "serious" companies or brands.

Tyson's business partner Alki David told the BBC over the weekend that rebranding Camp Nou as the Swissx Stadium, after the duo's cannabis company, would be "an amazing idea."

"It's something we've specifically been looking for to adopt in our company and it seemed like an amazing idea," David said.

"My company is a cannabis company and Spain has a long tradition within the European Union as being a leader or a liberal in the road towards legalisation, so it's evolved quite naturally."

However, a source close to the bidding process said "there has been no contact" from Swissx and there "have been no firm offers" yet regarding the purchase of the naming rights.

The club have also said that the stadium will maintain the name Camp Nou in addition to including the sponsor.

David, who is also the CEO of FilmOn TV, told ESPN later on Tuesday that his legal team had proof they were in contact with Barca.

"I think Barca are just testing the waters to see how a cannabis health company will be received," he said in a statement.

"It's natural that they're nervous, but my instinct tells me they'll be brave and push through. Progress, especially the kind that really helps people, always takes balls.

"In the meantime, it seems that someone is lying. But my legal team has evidence when the time comes to show it."

The decision to sell the rights has received a mixed reaction inside the club. A different source told ESPN that some of the furloughed staff, while understanding the need to contribute to outside causes, feel Barca should focus on getting their own house in order financially first.

Camp Nou is the biggest stadium in Europe with more than 99,000 seats. Since opening in 1957 it never had a sponsor.

The club had planned to wait to sell the stadium's naming rights for the first time in the 2023-24 season as part of plans to redevelop the ground.

Sources have previously told ESPN that Barca hoped to bring in €300 million paid upfront for a 25-year contract to pay for the renovations to the stadium and other facilities.