If you are an avid follower of all things Barcelona – which you probably are if you read this blog – then you will probably know that Barcelona have succumbed to the allures of shirt sponsorship.
Or have they?
The deal that has been signed is valued at €150 million Euro over the next 5 seasons, starting in 2011. The money is coming from the Qatari Foundation which seems to explain the massive sum involved.
Or does it?
If you are familiar with the career of Barca president Sandro Rosell then you will know that he has a financial stake in the Aspire Football Dreams scouting firm, who themselves have close connections with the Qatari Foundation.
It has been rumoured however, that the Qatari agreed to bankroll this deal after the Spanish contingent voted for their winning World Cup bid.
That is nonsense. Why would they only repay Barcelona?
Fact is, they wouldn’t.
The truth – in my eyes – is that the Qatari Foundation, who claim to be a non-profit organisation, have recognized the global appeal of FC Barcelona. They know that the public will watch and admire Barcelona.
My point? The deal will make the Qatari Foundation recognisable around the world. This will publicise the work they do – community projects, educational work etc. – Barcelona will alleviate some of that debt, and keep their credibility. We show our support for charity and the work of the foundation.
We have not sold out. We have merely been very wise.
Correction, our president has been very wise as he begins the hard task of neutralising the debt left behind by the excess of Laporta’s reign.
That is why – for a while at least – I will applaud you Sandro Rosell!