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Football
Barcelona need Qatar investment
The president of Barcelona Sandro Rosell believes his club needs the backing of Qatar group to compete with rivals Real.
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2011 18:36
Barca need funding from Qatar Sports Investment so they can chase the world's best players such as Neymar [GETTY]

There seems to be little room for ethical and moral considerations in the big business of football these days.

Barcelona are shifting their allegiances from a charity to the wealth of Qatar as they look to maintain their status as one of the world's most powerful football clubs. 

Barcelona's 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 $232 million, 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 soccer 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 $2 million a year.

"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)"

Barca president Sandro Rosell

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 said.

"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)."

The extra money would come in handy if Barcelona were to compete against Real Madrid in the signing of Brazilian teenage sensation Neymar.

Staying, for now

The well-regarded Santos striker has again dismissed reports he has reached a deal with Barcelona or Real Madrid but it is believed he will soon be seeking European football.

At the moment he is happy to stay with Santos at least until next year's Olympics in London.

Neymar says he feels honoured to be linked with the Spanish powerhouses but is happy for now to be playing in Brazil, near his family and friends.

Neymar said on Monday "it has already been decided'' that he "won't leave" Santos until at least the midyear transfer window in 2012.

The 19-year-old Neymar has been touted as a future Brazil star and is expected to lead the team in the 2014 World Cup on home soil.

There have been daily reports, particularly in Brazil and Spain, speculating about Neymar's future.

Source:
Agencies
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