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Lyon and Groupama remain engaged over naming rights renewal

(Photo by Romain Biard/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnais is still locked in negotiations over a potential stadium naming rights renewal with insurance group Groupama.

The current three-year naming rights contract, thought to be worth between €4m ($4.5m) and €7m per year, will lapse on July 31.

According to the French sports daily L’Equipe, the two sides are in ongoing discussions with the club describing the talks as “fair and square”.

In January, Francis Thomine, chief executive officer of Groupama, said the insurer would pay “not a euro more” to extend. Given the impact of Covid-19 on the football sponsorship market, this offer could still be revised.

Meanwhile, current shirt sponsor, Korean carmaker Hyundai, will not take up a lesser sponsorship place on the club roster when state carrier Emirates takes over the rights from next season, according to L’Equipe.

Emirates is thought to be paying €20m per year over five years, from 2020-21 to 2024-25, as the club’s Official Main Sponsor to the men’s team in all competitions.

Previously, Hyundai branded the men’s shirt in league competition, while water and waste management company Veolia branded the shirt in European competitions.

Veolia recently announced it would continue with the club as an environmental partner and will brand the shirt sleeves of the club’s all-conquering women’s team.

Cyrille Groll, the commercial director at OL, said the club was in talks with a new car sponsor but the fall-out from Covid-19 had slowed down the process.

Groll also revealed the club had compensated existing sponsors for the premature closure of the league this season because of Covid-19.

He said: “Whether it is the rights that are carried over to the following seasons (in the form of assets) or the special agreements (with the sponsors at the end of the contract), it is clear that they will have a negative impact on our accounts.”