According to the Spanish newspaper AS, a big change is about to take place at Real Madrid and it is not about the next big signing who will join the Galacticos, this is about their stadium and the name of the Santiago Bernabeu.
The historical stadium will get a name change to the Abu Dhabi Bernabeu, although no one from Real Madrid has either confirmed or denied the report, their president Florentino Perez was caught on camera admitting to a government official that the club would be renamed to anything the Abu Dhabi based investment group IPIC would want.
Madrid signed a deal with the investment group in October 2014, IPIC is an Abu Dhabi based company that owns the Spanish petrol company Cepsa and is owned by Abu Dhabi. There hasn’t been a proper figure given yet as to how much IPIC would be paying but it is said that whatever the amount, it will help Real Madrid with its plans to carry our developments at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Similar to the Arsenal and Manchester City deals, where both clubs’ stadia are named after UAE based companies, Emirates & Etihad respectively, it seems that Real Madrid have also joined the bandwagon as it provides them with financial assistance, especially since this would end up being cleared by the FFP rules which do allow marketing deals to take place, if they are seen to be of fair value.
It is expected that the deal is worth around £2.25 million per year until Real Madrid started work in their stadium and that figure would rise astronomically to £15 million per year. Real Madrid had earlier stated that they would not change the name of the stadium although Perez has often said that the stadium could have a “surname”.
AS now reports that the stadium will not be called IPIC since it was rejected and it would now be renamed as Abu Dhabi Bernabeu, there is no guarantee that the name will stick but one thing is for sure, the end of the Santiago Bernabeu is here.
Picture courtesy: Footballstadiums.com & Pbase.com