BARCELONA | BAYERN | REAL MADRID
Barça and Bayern's Qatar cash bad news for Real Madrid
Qatar Airways will pay Barcelona 240 million euro for four years of sponsorship, Doha airport will pay the same sum to Bayern Munich, allowing the two clubs to hold on to current stars.
Bayern Munich and Barcelona have turned to the Middle-East to ease pressure on the balance sheet and take advantage of the Madrid clubs with their hands-tied by the FIFA transfer ban. Despite the enormous incomings from La Liga TV deals and the Champions’ League, both clubs – along with Real Madrid – have the highest wage bills on the planet and are seeking to insulate themselves from the possibility of financial temptations luring away their prized assets.
Barça will wear Qatar Airways on their jersey for another four years in exchange for 240 million euro, a sky-high sum. Bayern will receive the same from Doha International airport for the honour of ‘platinum sponsors’. The deals are sealed and awaiting signature. The Barça vice-president Manel Arroyo has been handling negotiations with Akbar Al Baker, executive president of Qatar Airways, a notoriously hard-headed deal-maker.
Bayern Munich have travelled to Doha for the past six years to complete their winter preseason in the Aspire Academy which is directed by Spaniard Iván Bravo, ex-director of marketing at Real Madrid, and the man who convinced Xavi to come and play in Qatar. Bayern Munich needs the money to keep salaries of their top players high enough to ward off tempting offers from other clubs.
The German giant’s aim is to keep hold of their prize asset: Robert Lewandowski; who is coveted by los blancos in Madrid, the club sponsored by Fly Emirates, direct rival of Qatar Airways.
Barça are raising cash to help current stars Neymar, Messi and Suarez resist the temptation of a big-money move to resolve their own personal tax problems; but also to take advantage of the transfer bans placed on the two Madrid clubs for the next two windows. Barça’s target is not just to hold on to what they have and sign Nolito, but to capture the best talent on the market: Lewandowski, Pogba and Griezmann.