MADRID - Barcelona President Sandro Rosell has urged members to back the club's lucrative sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investment or risk the cash being invested elsewhere, including potentially in great rivals Real Madrid.
Barca members will vote on the record five-year deal, worth as much as 170 million euros, at a general assembly on Saturday amid criticism officials have compromised the club's ideals for material gain.
The Spanish and European champions were one of the few sides in world football not to have a corporate logo on their shirts, instead displaying the name of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), for which they paid the organisation 1.5 million euros a year.
However, since the Qatar deal their shirts have carried the name "Qatar Foundation" on the front, with UNICEF relocated to the back below the player's name.
"I would vote yes to Qatar Foundation," Rosell was quoted as saying in local media.
"This income is a necessity for the club," he added. "If this money doesn't go to Barca it will be reinvested somewhere else. Let's hope it's not in our biggest rival [Real]."comments