Some 173,000 Football Club Barcelona members are eligible to vote today on the team’s lucrative five-year sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation.
The $230 million five-year deal – arguably the largest sponsorship deal in football history – is the first paid advertising to appear on the team’s shirts in its 112-year history.
It met with a wave of disapproval from fans, some saying the team had “sold out” and others expressing concerns about tying the team to Qatar, a conservative Muslim country.
Former Barcelona President Joan Laporta is unlikely to attend Saturday’s club assembly vote over a lucrative shirt deal that he says makes the Spanish champions look more like Qatar’s national team…
But (team coach Pep) Guardiola backed it earlier this week.
“The club would have preferred to have left the jersey empty but times aren’t what they once were,” said Guardiola, who was an ambassador to Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.
“I lived there and they treated me phenomenally. Qatar is the most open and accessible country in the Middle East — if it wasn’t they wouldn’t have been awarded the World Cup.”
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