Barcelona FC’s decision to agree to a €170m sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation has been criticized by Johan Cruyff, former player, and manager of the Catalan team.
Chief finance director, Javier Faus, said that under the terms of the agreement the club will receive €30m each season for years, starting on July 1, 2011, and running until June 30, 2016, plus bonuses for trophies won that could total €5m.
During the 2010/11 campaign, the club will also receive a further €15m in return for the Qatari-state-funded non-profit foundation being able to use the Barcelona logo, bringing the total of the deal to €170m.
The club said Qatar Foundation will join Unicef on Barcelona’s team’s shirts as part of the agreement and over the next month, the new-look logo will be designed and presented.
Full details of the deal will be made public at a press conference starting at 4 pm this afternoon at which Barcelona president Sandro Rossell will be present.
This will be the first time in the club’s history that it will be paid for displaying a third-party name on its shirts. At the moment, it pays Unicef €1.5m a year in return for carrying the charity’s logo on its shirts.
According to Goal.com, Cruyff, in his weekly column in El Periodico de Catalunya, said the deal was unnecessary and goes against the history of the strip. “We are a unique club in the world, no one has kept their jersey intact throughout their history, yet have remained as competitive as they come,” he is quoted as saying.
“We have sold this uniqueness for about 6pc of our budget. I understand that we are currently losing more than we are earning. However, selling the shirt shows me that we are not being creative and that we have become vulgar.
“If things are so bad, then we should cut out the deal we have with Unicef, and all the values it represents because we pay them to carry the logo on our shirts.”