The Spanish football club FC Barcelona has announced that they will not be wearing the Qatar Airways logo next season.
Through a record deal, the Japanese retailer Rakuten has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Qatari favorite FC Barcelona. The 5-time European champions have been wearing the Qatar Airways logo on their front side for years now after switching from the Qatar Foundation logo, which they wore for two seasons.
Qatar Sports Investment and FC Barcelona made history in 2011 when they signed the historic deal to for the first time put a sponsor’s logo on a Barcelona player. The five-year deal came with a 215-million Euro price tag, and was renewed for another season only recently. However, sources have reported that it was done for less money than the Spanish side was asking for.
Under the light of the recent developments, the fate of the friendly match the team scheduled to play in Qatar next month remains unclear. They have a history of three cancelled appearances in the country.
The Japanese retail giant Rakuten was able to negotiate a record 220-million Euro deal with the Catalan team. According to the contract, they will wear the Rakuten logo for four seasons with an option to extend for a fifth one.
The change will be effect by July 1, this upcoming year. However, negotiations regarding the team’s training kit and the Barça Feminina are still ongoing.
Rakuten has been ranked one of the world’s most innovative companies by Forbes Magazine since 2012.