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Sat 29 Nov 2014 06:04 PM

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Real Madrid drops Christian cross from crest after UAE deal

Spanish football giant reportedly changes its official club crest after agreeing deal with Abu Dhabi's NBAD

Real Madrid drops Christian cross from crest after UAE deal

Spanish football giant Real Madrid has reportedly dropped the Christian cross affixed at the top of its official crest after signing a sponsorship deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

According to Spanish sports daily Marca, the club's president, Florentino Perez, revealed a new credit card sponsored by the bank last week, which doubles as a Real Madrid club membership card.

On the card, the club's iconic "Los Blancos" badge is missing the cross atop its royal crown. Outside the UAE, the club crest has not been altered, it reported.

Perez said the partnership with the Abu Dhabi bank symbolised for Real Madrid a "strategic alliance with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world."

In September, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) signed a three-year agreement to become the exclusive banking partner of Real Madrid in the UAE.

The deal, which is extendable and could spread to incorporate the entire Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, saw NBAD become the only bank outside of Spain to issue co-branded Real Madrid credit and debit cards.

Last month, Real Madrid also agreed a "long-term strategic partnership" with Abu Dhabi fund International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) that will strengthen the club's status as the world's richest, and help fund a planned stadium overhaul.

The agreement includes setting up Real museums and expanding their soccer schools around the world, as well as creating content for digital media platforms.

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Olga Maria Hay 5 years ago

It is incredible what money can do !!!!! Shame on you Real Madrid. Changing your tradition to please others that are filling your pocket.
If it was the other way around that the Muslim crescent had been removed by a Christian organisation, it would be all over the media and being spoken about in every Mosque.
This is a disrespect to your country.

AK43 5 years ago

calm down lady - the world has not ended. The change was only for the local market.

Pep G 5 years ago

What a travesty, Real Madrid Football Club has been around far longer than (NBAD) and as such should not have to make any changes to its club badge. Real Madrid are an Icon in world football, NBAD are just a UAE based bank.

We know Sponsorship is a pre requisite for all Major sporting teams and events but at what cost. Is the Cross on the badge really that offensive that it has to be removed. Next they will want red crescent as opposed to first aid kits to be carried by the club physio.

Non-Muslim 5 years ago

Wait - wait - wait, folks, and slow down!
As it looks at THIS moment of writing, the website of Real Madrid still shows the "correct" traditional logo. As it looks, the NBAD has "de-christianised" resp. "islamised" this same logo ONLY for their use in their primary target area in the predominantly islam-oriented business field - the Middle East. And the article CLEARLY says: "Outside the UAE, the club crest has not been altered."
Let's take that as a fact.
However, if a want-to-be Real Madrid club member in the UAE so much loves that (very money driven, quite controversially discussed enterprise for its famous financial behaviour) club, he/she should be willing and able to consequently show the FULL and AUTHENTIC logo - including the Christian cross, including on the credit/membership card. Simply out of respect towards tradition and authenticity. Anything else must be regarded as disrespect. Even if we non-muslims are regarded as kuffar.

Real Madrid Fan 5 years ago

Take it easy... Real Madrid are a fotball team and they don't need to be attached to any relegion iconic things..
I don't see a harm in what they have done and I wouldn't be surpsised if they drop the cross from their log at all.

Don't want another credit card anyway 5 years ago

I had to check the URL for this site when I saw this article .... thought I was still reading Pan Arabia Enquirer

Prad 5 years ago

Even if the change was only for the local market, why should they be required to change anything about them ? Obviously money talks and so Real have succumbed...

It's not really NBAD's issue...I guess it wasn't such a big deal for Real for them to make this change so it really shouldn't matter to the rest of us.

RealityCheck 5 years ago

They have actually done nothing. Real Madrid has dropped nothing, the UAE sponsor has modified the logo to suit the local taste (this is when we hear about how tolerant the UAE is, right?)

You (and quite a few other posters) should read the article more carefully.

whatever 5 years ago

NBAD sponsors Real Madrid and in so doing decides that in their market they will change the logo of the company they are sponsoring.

Is this permitted, signed off, or just NBAD acting abitrarily?
Anyone know of anything else similar like this ever before?

Fahad S 5 years ago

The irony of the whole issue amuses me. Cr Card (Haram) being marketed using a football club whose club logo is amended to exclude the cross depicting christians or christianity. Anyone else sees this?