Qatari telecom giant says 'no basis for speculation' linking firm with Premier League club
Ooredoo, the Qatari telecoms giant formerly known as Qtel, on Monday denied media reports it is in talks with Liverpool Football Club for naming rights to Anfield stadium.
"There is no basis for the current speculation linking us to the sponsorship of a Premier League Football Club. If the situation changes, we will - as always - be open and transparent in our communication with the media and with our customers," an Ooredoo spokesperson told Arabian Business.
Recent media reports claimed the telecoms operator was looking to invest in a high profile British football team and claimed it was in talks with Liverpool for naming rights to the club’s stadium at Anfield, a move which could have seen it renamed the Ooredoo Stadium.
“The goal was to sponsor a big English club with a huge history, our search included Arsenal and Manchester United but the former two have long sponsorship deals and the same applies to Manchester City, so Liverpool is the only club available right now,” an unnamed director at Ooredoo was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned TV station.
"We want to sponsor the club in full. We want to sponsor the Stadium as well as the club's kits. Our goal is to reach the Asian markets where the Premier League has an enormous fan base. We received the tender from the club a few days ago and we are currently in the process of due diligence and we are studying each aspect of the study,” he added.
The move would have followed in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which gained naming right to Manchester City’s stadium and Dubai’s Emirates Airline, which is been associated with Arsenal football club.
Standard Chartered signed a deal in September 2009 to sponsor Liverpool, which is due to expire in 2014 and the London-based lender is reportedly in talks to extend the deal.
Ooredoo is looking to expand into the football arena and recently appointed Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as their global brand ambassador. Qatar is set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, while Qatar Airlines has signed a sponsorship deal with Barcelona FC and the Gulf state also owns French football team Paris St Germain.