MADRID: Real Madrid have secured their own big-money, high-profile deal with a wealthy Gulf state.
With Spanish champions Barcelona dependent financially on Qatar, the European title-holders have confirmed a sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
A significant cornerstone is that the deal will help finance the projected upgrading of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu and Abu Dhabi would be added under a naming rights agreement.
The deal is worth €20m-a-season which matches the revenue from the club’s shirt sponsor, Emirates.
Overall, however, the naming deal, which could be worth up to €500m over 20 years. The only hold-up has concerned legal issues which delayed planning permissions.
Madrid president Florentino Perez said: “La ambition of Real Madrid is to be the best club of the 21st century. This agreement is a guaratee of success for both institutionsand will help further promote Real Madrid across all continents.”
One tranche of the money will be used to expand the club’s worldwide network of football schools.
IPIC was created by the Abu Dhabi government in 1984 to invest in the energy and related sectors across the globe. In 2011 it bought the Spanish, Madrid-based oil and gas company CEPSA.