BARCELONA: Barcelona are continuing until 2016 at least the link with UNICEF which broke, initially, the club’s convention of not branding the club shirt writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
As it turned out, the original 2006 UNICEF deal merely pushed open the door for the subsequent multi-million and controversial club sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investment.
Barcelona will be paying the United Nations Children’s Fund $2m-a-year to display its name on the back, now, of the shirts.
The current agreement was due to expire next year and president Sandro Rosell and his board have approved a two-year extension.
The deal has been announced on the same day that the Paris magazine France Football* published a three-page resume of all the controversies assailing Rosell – from his links with the Qataris as well as with the likes of ex-Brazilian football supremo Ricardo Teixeira and Argentinian FA president Julio Grondona.
Local media in Spain have largely ignored the issues.
Barca and UNICEF first joined forces in 2006 and their Argentinian World Player of the Year Lionel Messi is one of the fund’s global goodwill ambassadors.
The current front-of-shirt sponsorship is worth €30m-a-year and is now undertaken in the name of Qatar Airways.
* The France Football article can be reviewed at http://tinyurl.com/oomtvr7