Real Madrid has apparently removed the cross on its crest in order to please a sponsor, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. This guy says that it’s a sign of the “new business order”, and that it’s much like McDonald’s or KFC having halal menus in the Middle East.
Manchester City were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, while Qatar Sports Investments has been the majority shareholder of Paris Saint-Germain since 2011. The Dubai-based airline, Emirates, is the shirt sponsor of Real Madrid, AC Milan,Arsenal and PSG, among others.
Qatar Airways sponsor Madrid’s domestic rivals, Barcelona.
Just last month, as per Reuters, Real Madrid announced a “long-term strategic partnership” with the Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). The agreement will help to fund the €400 million redevelopment of the club’s iconic Bernabeustadium and could eventually be expanded to include the provision of naming rights for the new arena.
The deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi is a three-year partnership that will see some of the institution’s offerings, including a credit card, branded as Real Madrid products.
The cross on Real Madrid’s crest has more to do with Spain’s royal family than with being a Christian organization. This is not a complete branding change, but will only apply to branding relating to what they do with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Still, it’s sad to see Europe continue to lose its grip on its Christian identity.
All is not lost, however. This past weekend in English Premiership rugby, the Saints defeated the Saracens 31-24.
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