FC Barcelona signed a €150 million shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Foundation back in December 2010. Although, the partnership with UNICEF ends in December 2011, it seems that the Qatar NGO will be the only front shirt sponsor on the blaugrana kit.
Indeed, it seems that spanish giant Barcelona could drop the UNICEF logo from the front of its shirts at the end of this season, and replace it by the name of its new Qatari sponsor. Barcelona was the last global clubs that had no corporate sponsor on their shirts for 107 years. Their first ever shirt sponsor was the name of the United Nations Children’s Fund, for which it pays the organisation US$2.03m a year.
However, last month the club agreed a record five-year sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investment worth $40.57m a season and will have ‘Qatar Foundation’ on the front of its shirts from July 1. Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus stated: “It has been decided that the Qatar Foundation logo will go on the front of the shirt, on the breast. In the end, there will be only two words – Qatar Foundation – in yellow. UNICEF will go on the back underneath the player’s name.
“We continue to have significant structural problems, which we have been burdened with for some years, but which are our structural problems now and which we have to deal with. We have solved some of them with the Qatar Foundation sponsorship deal but we still have many challenges ahead.”
Faus was unsure as to whether the UNICEF logo would be allowed to appear on shirts worn in the UEFA Champions League, but added: “What we can guarantee is that every FC Barcelona shirt that is sold around the world will have the UNICEF logo on the back.”
There has been some speculations about the 2011-2012 Barca 3rd kit featuring the Qatar Foundation logo (above). Again, these are only speculations that came up last month, but with this latest news, these speculations are becoming serious facts!