Sport Soccer

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Barca agree €149m shirt deal

Barcelona to sell to shirt sponsor for the first time as Qatar Foundation pay €149m to share space with Unicef

Unicef will soon share space on Barcelona's kit with the Qatar Foundation Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Unicef will soon share space on Barcelona's kit with the Qatar Foundation Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Steve Wilson

Barcelona will sell sponsorship space on their shirts for the first time, after agreeing a €149m five-year deal with the Qatar Foundation that will become the most expensive deal of its kind in football.

Until as recently as 2005 Barcelona’s famous shirt bore no logo as they eschewed the chance to profit from sponsors.

For the last five years the club has actually paid for the privilege of having the name of Unicef, the international children’s charity, on their shirts, in a deal that to many reaffirmed Barcelona’s status as ‘mes que un club’, as they like to describe themselves.

However, the economic realities of modern football appear to have caught up with the Catalans and the deal struck with the Qatar Foundation, a non-profit organisation concerned primarily with education projects in the Middle East, far exceeds anything commanded by other major European clubs.

Manchester United and Real Madrid both earn a little over €23.8m a year for their rights while Bayern Munich make closer to €27.4m.

The logo of the Qatar Foundation, which is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, the wife of the Emir, who was central to Qatar’s final presentation to Fifa when the tiny gas-rich Gulf state won the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals last week, will share space on Barca’s kit with the current Unicef logo.

An official announcement of the deal is expected at lunchtime today. Comments Facility

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