Real Madrid 'to rename stadium the Abu Dhabi Bernabeu'

European champions would follow trend set by Arsenal and Manchester City

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid look set to become the latest club to sell naming rights to their stadium, with the home of the European champions to be re-branded as the Abu Dhabi Bernabeu according to reports in Spain.

Although the Champions League holders are yet to confirm the story from newspaper AS, club president Florentino Perez has been captured on camera admitting to a Spanish government official that the stadium will be renamed according to the wishes of the Abu Dhabi investment group International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

IPIC is owned by the wealthy Emirate nation who are set to plough £15m a year into the club as part of a redevelopment scheme.

Real Madrid would follow Arsenal's Emirates stadium and Manchester City's Etihad stadium as being named after a sponsor from the region.

Their great rivals Barcelona also have links with the region, with the policy of their shirt having no sponsor being dropped so that room could be made for the Qatar Foundation which currently sees them sporting Qatar Airways on the famous strip.

Although ironically, as Real Madrid look set to sell the rights to their stadium Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed his club are “looking at alternatives to Qatar” because of concerns over social issues in the Gulf State. Their contract with the Qatar Foundation ends in 2016.

lionel-messi-2.jpg
Lionel Messi

 

Real Madrid's home in the Spanish capital was named after former club chairman Santiago Bernabeu in 1955.

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