Friday, December 17, 2010
Qatar Makes It Rain On FC Barcelona
Two weeks ago, the tiny nation of Qatar took the soccer world by storm with its host selection for the 2022 World Cup. The country’s proposal included financial investments in infrastructure that put its bidding committee in quite a class of its own.
Now the oil rich nation seems to be still hungry and on another soccer spending binge. This week a Qatar “foundation” was able to buy what many thought was the untouchable-the front of Barca’s shirt. The club was a lone outlier in not selling its most coveted piece of real estate. When other clubs took the cash, Barca went in the opposite direction and gave away cash to UNICEF for use of the organization’s name.
Barca had embodied it’s tag line of “more than just a club.” Now, the storied club may just become another impulse by for national investors that would to blow off steam, spend some cash and turn the global soccer community on its ear.