Spanish sports daily newspaper AS reports that Qatar Airways 'has made a succulent
offer to Barcelona for the naming rights of the Camp Nou'.
It's reported that a €350million has been placed in front of the La Liga giants in a 30-year deal - an offer which eclipses a previously made offer of €250million for a staggering 50 years.
The same airline can already be seen adorning the front of the club’s shirts, and also the Gol Sur stand inside Camp Nou.
Although acceptance of this offer would see the club being paid almost three times as much as the entire cost of building Cardiff’s 74,500 capacity Millennium Stadium, it would also mark another step towards the commercialisation of the club to the potential detriment of their history and culture.
Up until 2006, Barcelona had refused as a matter of principle to even have the logo of a sponsor on their shirts. This changed with the agreement with UNICEF, whereby Barcelona would pay money for the privilege of displaying the charity’s logo, thus remaining free from any accusations of commercialisation from club members.
Despite the fact that this deal would allow Barcelona to follow through on their long-standing plans to renovate and expand Camp Nou to a staggering 120,000 capacity, it would be seen as a ‘selling-out’ of the club’s heritage by many inside and outside of the club.
Those familiar with the club will be aware of the significance that has been placed on Camp Nou as a home for Catalan freedom and expression throughout the repressive Franco regime.
The question to ask seems to be – how much is success on and off the pitch really worth?
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