By Staff writer
Reports suggest renaming plan after Spanish football club signed partnership with Abu Dhabi fund IPIC in October
Real Madrid's world famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium is set to be renamed the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu, according to the Spanish sports newspaper AS.
The report has not been confirmed by Real Madrid but the club's president Florentino Pérez was reportedly 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.
In October, Real Madrid agreed a "long-term strategic partnership" with Abu Dhabi fund International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) aimed at strengthening 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, said IPIC, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
Madrid have not said that the stadium will be renamed, although Pérez has admitted that it might be given a “surname”, reports suggest.
The European champions last year agreed a five-year shirt sponsorship deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates that Spanish media reported was worth €30 million ($33.8 million) a season.
Real chose a design led by German architects GMP for the remodelling of the Bernabéu, which was opened in the 1950s and holds just over 80,000 spectators.
The club hopes the work, which would see a striking new roof and exterior added to the current structure and include a hotel and a shopping centre, can be completed by 2017.
Investments are one thing.
Historically established names are a different story.
Money makes the world go 'round, but UEFA should finally put a hand on this.