FC Barcelona members have overwhelmingly approved Barca’s sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investment, the club announced on its website Saturday.
Some 697 voted in favor of keeping the $230 million five-year agreement, arguably the largest sponsorship deal in football history. Seventy-six voted against, and 36 abstained from the vote, the club said.
Barca players now sport the first paid advertising to appear on the team’s shirts in 112 years, wearing Qatar Foundation logos on the front of their shirts, and previously prominent UNICEF on the back.
Barca president Sandro Rosell and his board of directors had been lobbying members to vote in favour of the agreement amid criticism the club was compromising its ideals by taking money from an unsavoury regime…
“I would like things to be different and that the Barca shirt could be blank,” Rosell said. “But it can’t be because that way our opponents would overwhelm us.”
…”We want an explanation as to what this deal means,” member Marc Ferrer was quoted as saying in Sport newspaper. “I urge reflexion. Vote no so that a dictatorship does not become Barca’s sponsor.”
Well, glad that’s behind us! I hope…anyone have any thoughts on the vote?