Real Madrid's president Florentino Pérez was caught on camera admitting to a member of the regional government that the stadium will be called whatever Arab money dictates...
One time a rich sheikh approached us over here at CairoScene. He, on behalf of the oil conglomerate he inherited was willing to offer us a cool $1 billion to purchase the naming rights to this site. Of course, we had the balls to say no, CairoScene is our identity and ethos, besides no one is going to read The Haram Herald anyway. Real Madrid FC, ironically, do not have balls. In fact they've never really had an identity or ethos aside from throwing money and their weight around to lap up the worlds best players, creating super teams that lack any affinity to their youth academy or geography.
Now yet more Arab money is being thrown at top tier football in the direction of Madrid, courtesy of IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Company), an Abu Dhabi based company that owns the Spanish petrol company Cepsa and is owned by the emirate. IPIC will be paying Madrid €20m a year to have their brand somehow imposed on the club. Although Madrid have not explicitly announced that the stadium will change, its president Florentino Pérez was caught on camera admitting to a member of the regional government that the stadium will be called whatever the Abu Dhabi investment group IPIC want it to be called.
Now, AS reports that the stadium will be called the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu after IPIC was rejected as a name. Whether that is the final decision remains to be seen but its days of being just the Santiago Bernabéu seem to be up. This incident follows Madrid removing the Christian cross on top of their logo after agreeing a three year sponsorship deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Maybe should have replaced it with a $ sign.