Barcelona shirt sponsor talks ongoing - president Josep Maria Bartomeu

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says talks are ongoing with potential future club sponsors, amid claims that Blaugrana fans are not overly concerned about selling naming rights for the Camp Nou.

The Catalan club famously had no shirt sponsor at all until it partnered with UNICEF in 2006. A deal with the Qatar Foundation was done for the 2011-12 season, and Lionel Messi and company have been wearing jerseys featuring the Qatar Airways brand since the 2013-14 season.

This close relationship with Qatar has been often criticised by some Blaugrana supporters and pundits, and was an issue during last summer's presidential election. However, Bartomeu easily won that vote after himself voicing concerns about the "social and political" situation in the Gulf state.

The current shirt sponsorship deal runs until the end of the 2015-16 season, and any new commercial relationships could then chime with the "Espai Barcelona" development of the Camp Nou stadium which was approved by fans in a vote held in April 2014.

Asked by reporters if a new deal would be done with Qatar Airways, the Blaugrana chief said talks were currently taking place with two potential sponsors, and suggested the issue would be discussed at next month's scheduled board meeting.

"In October we will present [a proposal] and will try to reach an agreement," Bartomeu said. "We are talking with two companies, that is the marketing department's job. There is still time to reach a commercial agreement."

The idea of the Camp Nou being given a new name arose during the 2014 referendum on the board's redevelopment plans, with Bartomeu then denying that a deal had already been done with Qatar to finance the €600 million project, although not denying reports that naming rights could be sold for around €200m.

The idea of the historic stadium getting a name change has also been discussed by the project manager of the "Espai Barcelona" development, with William T Mannarelli claiming that the club had undertaken surveys of Barca's socios and found that fans were very open to the idea.

"Barca were very transparent about the whole issue of naming rights," Mannarelli told Sport360. "Obviously the question of sponsors has become a bit of an issue with the shirt deal with Qatar Airways.

"But there were individual surveys with socios on the issues around the new stadium. Interestingly, the No. 1 priority for the socios was a) 'how much will my season ticket cost?' and b) 'Don't mess with my seat.' Naming rights was completely at the other end of the spectrum of priorities."

Mannarelli claimed that keeping season ticket prices at the Camp Nou at their "insanely" cheap current level was Barca fan's primary concern.

"We thought the fans would go crazy about naming rights but even passionate Catalonians understand," he said. "The socios of Barca pay 25 percent of what they do at Real Madrid, or Manchester City.

"Their season ticket to watch this show is insanely good value. If you want that to continue, if you want to compete for the Champions League, if you want to keep watching players like Messi, Neymar and [Luis] Suarez -- the money has to come from somewhere."

The marketing and project management expert said that the "philosophy" of any potential stadium sponsor could be an issue for Barca, but he did not expect any problems.

"As long as the club can identify a partner whose agenda is aligned with Barcelona and their 'mes que un club' philosophy, things will be fine," Mannarelli said. "If a sponsor has different objectives, then yes of course it would become an issue. But ultimately the club will decide."

Meanwhile, Barca's board have approved the club's budget for the 2015-16 season, with a club statement predicting record revenues for the current campaign.

"The budget for the 2015-16 season forecasts record revenues of €633m, while EBITDA will exceed €120m and a net profit of €20.2m," the statement said.