It’s official: The shirt is sold, aka “Color me disgusted!” (UPDATE)

Who knew that Sandro RoSELL would live up to his name so quickly? Euler has laid out all the basics in his excellent post below this one.

Javier Faus, economic head of the club, has said that the whoring ou …. sale is necessary for financial reasons. This makes perfect sense to me, given that the club has a 50m transfer budget this summer and subsequent summers, and the deal is worth a darn sight less than that per annum, at north of 30m.

In its 111-year history, the club has NEVER featured a full-time paying sponsor on its shirt. Until 2006, it didn’t have anything on the front, until a sponsorship agreement with UNICEF brought that international brand to the front of our shirt, a privilege that we paid for.

Until now.

Hellloooo, Qatar Foundation! We’ve gone from paying 1.5m per annum to UNICEF for the logo (through the FC Barcelona Foundation) to being paid. Tidy profit, I’d say.

But what’s the real cost of this sale?

For this cule and soci, the real cost is incalculable. Essentially, we sold out 111 years of tradition for about 1m per year. FC Barcelona is owned by its members, the socis. This structure was part of the pride that came with not needing to have a shirt sponsor. We can do this thing ourselves, world. So get lost. Leave the posh airlines, betting companies and financial firms to other clubs.

In the club’s recent salad days, this has been even more true, as seven graduates of the FC Barcelona Masia, or farm system, started in the Champions League final in which we defeated Manchester United. Seven grads were also in the starting XI that destroyed the Evil Empire with a still tear-inducing manita. We don’t even need to buy that many players. We can do it ourselves.

Until now. Now, we are available to the highest bidder. For me, the club couching its vile decision in “Well, it’s the right sponsor, you know,” is like a whore saying “I don’t do business with bad men.” It makes you no less of a whore. Perhaps Pep Guardiola’s celebrity status as part of the successful Qatar World Cup bid should have been a clue. Perhaps not. He could have just been being nice after all, right? Right?

Mind you, this isn’t the first time that shirt sponsorship has come up. Most recently, a deal to feature (for almost $25m) the Beijing Olympics/2010 Asian games was proffered, but struck down by the assembly, a supergroup of delegates who convene when matters essential to the club’s health and well-being need to be discussed. That was as it should be.

The club’s crest means a lot to its members, and to Catalans in particular. The Camp Nou was about the only place that being fully Catalan wasn’t illegal for too many years. There have been anti-capitalism protests in the club’s history, including when protesters stormed the pitch during a Clasic in protest of the World Trade Organization.

The club crest isn’t just a logo to be bought and sold. It’s a bright, shining symbol of a truculent people who refused to be extinguished, who are raising their heads once again in massive numbers, as Catalanisme is all the rage. The club is surging, but so is the language and culture, buttressed by the many referenda for Catalan independence. And that shirt, the FC Barcelona shirt, is part of that rich tradition of suffrage and protest.

Is that tradition worth a mil a year, a million Euros for each one of the club’s 111 years of proud history? Hell no, and even the most money-hungry supporter knows good and damned well it isn’t. We are a big club but more importantly, a big club that doesn’t need your money. We’re worth more than that. Club after club gave in to greed, and we stayed the course. Even Athletic Bilbao eventually fell by the wayside, the other proud, sponsorless shirt of a club that, not coincidentally, is Basque in origin and foundations. Yes, another batch of proud protesters who want independence.

But we stood firm, until now. Now, in a back-room deal that was snuck past the assembly and its members, the club has sold the shirt. Is this the transparency that Sandro Rosell was talking about? I suppose this is somehow Joan Laporta’s fault. After all, if he hadn’t left the club in such a dire financial predicament, we wouldn’t have had to sell the shirt, right?

If you believe that, I have a bridge for sale. Now I don’t have clear title, or even the necessary paperwork. But trust me, it can be yours, for the right price.

I would rather have gutted the transfer budget and taken some losses to get the fiscal ship right, if it was that dire. We have a passel of young Masia graduates in the club, and more that are almost ripe on the tree. So what, we don’t win everything. We retain our principles, and buy smart in the market with the approximately 17m available to Pep Guardiola each summer, and farm the rest.

People have said, and will continue to say, “Get off your high horse. It’s time our club joined the modern world. Tradition and sentiment are for the weak,” or “What’s the big deal, anyway? It’s still Barca.” Sorry, but the brand has been diluted, because just as we are mes que un club, the garment that our warriors wore was mes que un samarreta. More importantly, you’re wrong. It IS more than a shirt. So much more.

This deal is just wrong. I love this club, and will continue to support it with all of my heart. I don’t dare resign my soci membership, because I want the opportunity to be able to vote against whoever Sandro RoSELL picks as his successor, because this madness has to stop. At present, I am as disgusted. Every time I think about this, I want to weep tears of rage, frustration and sadness. We have sold out. More correctly, we have been sold out.

I have been following this club for some time, through lean years, trophyless years, glory years, more trophyless years and now this current, glorious renaissance. I have never, EVER been disgusted, until now. I can love the club because the club didn’t do this. Sandro and his Henchmen did this, sullying a 111-year tradition for a pittance. First soci limitations, and now this. What’s next? If we got that much for the shirt, what, of what, would Emirates Stadium Barcelona fetch?

Typically. it’s been reported that Rosell won’t be attending the announcement ceremony. Recall that he also abstained from the vote to pursue legal action against Joan Laporta. Dude has a history of not manning up to his decisions. Why expect him to show up and own this decision?

I leave you with an open letter from Joan Laporta, announcing the UNICEF deal. It’s worth a read, and interesting parts are in bold face:

On occasion of the Unicef deal in New York, president Joan Laporta wrote this open letter to Barcelona supporters to explain the full details.

“Barcelona fans,

With this letter I want to inform you of the agreement that today we will sign with Unicef in New York. For this five year agreement, the FC Barcelona football teams will wear the Unicef logo on their shirts from this season. On Tuesday, in the first Champions League match against Levski at the Camp Nou, the team will wear this new shirt for the first time.

The general assembly of delegate members of August 2003 authorized the Board of Directors to negotiate for a shirt sponsorship deal. The economic situation we were in when we arrived at the club obliged us to look into all the possible options available.

Fortunately, thanks to everyone’s hard work, the good economic development of the last years, sporting success, and the renewed passion of Barça fans, today the economic resource of a shirt sponsorship deal is no longer as necessary. A few months ago, the board initiated a process of internal evaluation of what the best option for shirt sponsorship deals would be.

This debate led us to agree to a different objective that would make FC Barcelona ‘more than a club’ in the world. The conclusion was that we had to put our greatest asset, our shirt, at the service of this ambitious project.

FC Barcelona is more than a club in Catalonia. It is the nation’s most representative sporting institution and one of its finest ambassadors. Also, for different reasons, FC Barcelona is more than a club for many people in the rest of Spain that have seen our club to be a firm supporter of democratic rights and liberties.

Today, football has reached a global scale. Barça support has spread spectacularly around the entire world. The number of members outside of Catalonia and Spain is growing every day. The club has to respond to this wave of global support for Barça. It is both a need and an obligation. And we believe that the most coherent way of doing this is to move towards becoming more than a club in the world as well.

The slogan more than a club is open in its definition. Maybe it is this flexibility that makes it so apt for defining the complex identity of FC Barcelona. There has always been the Barça that plays every Sunday and every Wednesday, and the Barça that beats every day in the hearts of its people. The Barça of Sunday and Wednesday is already a global club. Now, we want to globalize the Barça that cares for its people, we want to globalize the Barça of civilian duty, solidarity and humanitarianism.

We have decided that the best way to do this is to associate ourselves with Unicef, the United Nations organisation that fights for the welfare of children. On the one hand, we have decided to donate 0.7% of our income to the Fundació del FC Barcelona and associate ourselves with the objectives of the United Nations. And on the other hand, we have decided to collaborate with Unicef’s humanitarian efforts by donating 1.5 million euros a year for 5 years, and putting their logo on our shirt. We are convinced that it is a very good agreement, because it makes something unique out of FC Barcelona.

We are aware of the responsibilities that this decision bestows upon us. To be more than a club in the world is something we all have to do together, and we have to do it on a daily basis. The players, the managers, the directors, the employees, the members, the supporters clubs and fans, everyone is in this together. But we are convinced that we have the capacity to do it. Because we believe that with this project we can make FC Barcelona’s universal sentiment a reality.

We hope that this project excites you and that you will make it your own. It is the most important project that we have planned for the next few years. Thank you very much for your support and confidence.

Joan Laporta i Estruch

President of FC Barcelona

P.S. Hats off to rakoczyn, whose club history goes deeper than mine, and whose memory is even better. In 1990, we struck a temporary deal with Japan Air Lines, and wore that company’s logo for two matches. We were paid 400m pesetas (about 2.4m Euros) for the front.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

222 Comments

  1. Tyler
    December 10, 2010

    fuck this blows. so is the logo going to go across the chest like all other jerseys? if so I might not buy jerseys anymore. I always felt proud not only representing barca but also UNICEF which I personally feel is a positive organization. I don’t know anything about this Qatar thing, and it just reeks of desperation for money. it’s true, everyday under Rosell we are becoming less and less “mes que un club”.

    • Jose
      December 10, 2010

      I even remember how the players had tried to wear some black shirts over their jerseys for el pasillo, supposedly in honor of some recently passed away player.

      Then Laporta came into the locker room, angry as a bull, and told them to take the shirts off and go lie in the bed they made for themselves.

      Yup, that was not long ago.

      • K(legit)
        December 10, 2010

        actually they were going to wear white for supporting Milito who had had that awful ACL injury

      • Jose
        December 10, 2010

        My memory sucks 😛

  2. December 10, 2010

    Just out of curiosity- is anyone here actually Catalan? It always struck me funny that people that are neither Catalan or Spanish always talk about the preciousness of the culture. (Or the shirt in this instance)

    • mei
      December 10, 2010

      the founder of the club wasnt catalan.Not even spanish.

      • Kxevin
        December 10, 2010

        You don’t have to be of that nationality to have deep respect for that culture and people. That’s a rather myopic worldview, yes? For me, it took spending a day with a lifelong Barcelona family, and a man whose mother was affected by the Civil War to radically alter my worldview. Yes, I have much respect. Research helps you to understand how things are.

        So I confess to not finding it funny at all.

        The club’s founder was in fact Swiss, as mei notes.

    • VicNZ
      December 10, 2010

      Im half Catalan-Spanish if that answers your question.

  3. flyzowee
    December 10, 2010

    *sigh*
    111 years of virginity.

    Its a new dawn ppl, we are more than a club in some ways, but not every way.

    Weve stood so long and proud in defiance but alas our fortress has been breached.

    Flags of Qutar will now fly high on land once sacred to its people.

    It was a brave fight, honourable indeed.

    But the tide was too strong.
    Even for a nation that is Barca.

  4. Vicsoc8
    December 10, 2010

    I have some questions for people who are voraciously against the deal:

    1. Are you upset about the physical appearance of the logo on the shirt?

    I’m assuming the answer to this is no, as currently we have the UNICEF logo on our shirt, yet many people against this new deal praise the UNICEF deal. Therefore it isn’t he logo on the shirt that you are upset about, but rather the philosophy and sentiment behind that logo and that brought the logo to our shirt.

    2. What is the difference between UNICEF and the Qatar Foundation.

    UNICEF got acceptance because it is a charitable organization, giving us he comfort that our club was a philanthropic organization. But is the Qatar Foundation not also a worthwhile

    • Jose
      December 10, 2010

      In a nutshell:

      UNICEF we pay $1.5 million a year for the benefit of wearing their logo.

      Qatar Foundation pays us $30 million to wear their logo.

      Makes all the difference in the world…

      • Kxevin
        December 10, 2010

        Exactly. Nobody is arguing against the work that the Qatar Foundation does. By all accounts it’s top-rate, and exactly what it presents itself as.

        My simple issue is selling the front of the shirt. Many note that we already have, in the presence of the Nike swoosh. Nike makes the clothing, however. That swoosh is inescapable, just as the logo of the company that makes the cycling clothing that my team wears is prominently displayed. So I don’t buy that argument, either.

      • pedro
        December 10, 2010

        The Nike swoosh isn’t inescapable, you can get shirts without the logo of the manufacturer on it just like the 60s or 70s. Do you really think Nike doesn’t benefit from being on the front of the shirt

    • Vicsoc8
      December 10, 2010

      Message got half published by accident, full message below

    • December 10, 2010

      Brother UNICEF makes difference to millions of childrens. Do not compare them with Qatar foundation.

  5. flyzowee
    December 10, 2010

    The last airbender joined the fire nation.

  6. Vicsoc8
    December 10, 2010

    I have some questions for people who are voraciously against the deal:

    1. Are you upset about the physical appearance of the logo on the shirt?

    I’m assuming the answer to this is no, as currently we have the UNICEF logo on our shirt, yet many people against this new deal praise the UNICEF deal. Therefore it isn’t he logo on the shirt that you are upset about, but rather the philosophy and sentiment behind that logo and that brought the logo to our shirt.

    2. What is the difference between UNICEF and the Qatar Foundation.

    UNICEF got acceptance because it is a charitable organization, giving us he comfort that our club was a philanthropic organization. But is the Qatar Foundation not also a worthwhile cause that is deserving of our support? The Idea behind it is to take the fleeting material wealth of Qatar (and broadly the middle east) and to invest it to make the people of the region self sufficient after the oil is gone. That seems like a worthwhile cause to me. It certainly is a lot different from a betting company or an airline. This leads me to believe the problem is that we are bein paid for the deal.

    3. If we were paying the Qatar Foundation 1.5 million a year to put them on the shirt, would you have a problem with it?

    Imagine the deal was structured like the current UNICEF agreement. I imagine that there would be a lot less outrage, and a lot more discussion on whether the Qatar Foundation was a worthwhile organization for us to be supporting at such a large level.

    4. Can you legitimately support a cause and still be paid for doing so?

    Does support for a cause necessarily mean you can’t be paid for what you do? Ask the soldiers who volunteer for the army because they love their country. Are they any less of patriots for also receiving a stipend for their efforts?

    5. Has the club whored itself out?

    The club has received payment on a large scale for a shirt sponsorship for the first time in history. Many people are discussing how it has denigrated the clubs philosophy and has brought into question the principles and even the motto (mes que in club) of the club. I would love to see some answers to the questions above, and if thinking about them makes the issue a little less black and white.

    • Kari
      December 10, 2010

      Heh, I just made a similar point below. I’m still miffed about this whole thing, but I’ll just wait it out.

      By them paying us, it feels like we’ll sell ourselves for money (thus the “whoring” term.) and for the reason of supporting a non-profit cause.

      Sigh. I just dunno right now. It’ll take a few days for me to see this the way it should, without screaming, “DAMN YOU, ROSELL!”.

      • Kari
        December 10, 2010

        “and not for the reason of[…]”

      • Vicsoc8
        December 10, 2010

        I am vehemently against the deal as well, but it’s easy to have a knee jerk reaction, and a bit more difficult to really think about why this deal is odious. For me, I have no problem with being paid to support a worthwhile cause. Atthe same time, I don’t believe the Qatar Foundation is a worthwhile cause. The UNICEF logo is all about giving support an helping people who are unable to help themselves, it is a charitable organization.

        Meanwhile, the Qatar Foundation certainly has admirable aims, but they also have immense means to accomplishtheir goals. The space on the shirt should be used to advocate for people who are unable to change their own situations and need the help of Steiger entities, the Qatar Foundation doesn’t fit this description

    • Jose
      December 10, 2010

      “3. If we were paying the Qatar Foundation 1.5 million a year to put them on the shirt, would you have a problem with it?”

      Nah, that’d be fine. Although an argument could be made that UNICEF is a more worthwhile cause. Or something like the Gates Foundation.

    • December 10, 2010

      Many of you believe that Qatar foundation is a charitable organisation which works for making life better for millions of people. It is nothing like that. They are just a PR agency for the Qatar Royal Family. Whatever the motto of this foundation is the duty of any government of that particular country. So why should you need a foundation to do those work.

      Now, why many support UNICEF?

      Everyone liked the idea, because there is something special about UNICEF. They are organisation which makes a huge difference in to lives of small children all around the world. Do you find it difficult to relate it as a Barca fan?

      We never sold our shirt (like a Barca fans said “Never sold our Soul”) for a price to them. We paid them 0.7% of our revenue to have the honour of wearing their name on our shirt. We paid them money, eventhough it may amount to nothing (comparing the amount they usually require), but it may have made diffrence to the ones who lives were positively changed. There is a huge difference to this deal.

      Now will I be happy if we paid Qatar foundation the money and then we put the logo. As I said earlier compar morally equal entities, not these two institutions. It’s something kile comparing Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma, since both were Presidents. BUt remember still Nelson Mandela is still THE Mandela.

      I would definitely approve to have something like red cross logo on our shirt and then pay them also a bit. BUt not these organisation.

      • Vj
        December 11, 2010

        If they truly are a PR agency, I’ll be happy if you provide some proof to support you claims..

        BTW, you really think RoSELL is willing to put up cash for anything?

      • vicsoc8
        December 11, 2010

        Maybe you should read all of my comments before judging what I write.

        Thanks.

  7. Kari
    December 10, 2010

    Now that I’ve had a couple of hours to cool off, I can look at this deal a little more calmly.

    I still think RoSELL is a rat-faced b*****d–for breaking a tradition so easily and without any kind of consent from the socis (I don’t give a fig what the previous regime did.) and many other things but…

    I went to the Qatar Foundation website* to find out what the heck it was, and I have to say it ain’t a bad thing.

    *http://www.qf.org.qa/output/page3.asp

    We’re not being sponsored by a online gambling site or an airline, but a non-profit organisation that promotes education and scientific research — not all that different from UNICEF.

    Instead of us paying the honor of having such an organization of our shirt, they’re paying us a hell of a lot for the honor of the current best team in the world wearing their name.

    I’m still a bit peeved on this whole issue (mostly at RoSELL), but looking at it without outside biases, it doesn’t look so bad. Although, I’m just consoling myself at this point.

    P.S. I’m still waiting to see how our kits will look. If the one posted on barcastuff with the tree is true, I might break something.

    • beeeef
      December 10, 2010

      i like Ramzi’s design the best.

      I agree though, if anything resembling that tree ends up on the jersey, i won’t be purchasing a new one for a loong time.

      • Jose
        December 10, 2010

        Hopefully they go something similar to the UNICEF logo… the tree on the left, with “Qatar Foundation” written to its right. All of it in yellow, like the UNICEF logo.

        They should put the UNICEF global logo where our current CWC 2009 Champions badge is, top center, resting on the sternum.

        … Trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

      • K(legit)
        December 10, 2010

        That tree really ruins the dynamic of the jersey
        I don’t want to even imagine the away jerseys and the abominations Nike generally makes for us

    • December 10, 2010

      “a non-profit organisation that promotes education and scientific research”

      Can you explain me this. Don’t you think the above said motto is the duty of every govenrment? Then why you want a foundation setup for doing this job?

  8. HY
    December 10, 2010

    “In 1990, we struck a temporary deal with Japan Air Lines, and wore that company’s logo for two matches. We were paid 400m pesetas (about 2.4m Euros) for the front.”

    Never knew this. I guess our shirt isn’t “virgin” after all.

  9. Auld Super
    December 10, 2010

    I’m pretty sure Nike pay megabucks for the honor of having their swoosh on the Jersey. I would prefer if it was the adidas 3 stripes though but thats just me.

    There should be nothing on the jersey and Laporta knew well what he was doing when he done that deal to have UNICEF on the jersey, softening people up to have a money paying sponsor on there. As somebody said earlier there’s plenty of places for companies to advertise and be associated with the club other that plastering it all over our jersey. Having no sponsor on the jersey was one of the main things that attracted me to the club in the first place and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  10. BA
    December 10, 2010

    let there be no mistake: this is a watershed moment in the history of the club. from this day on no matter how we talk about our charitable works or the Youth team players we bring up, we can’t make the case that we’re not just another club. we’ve lost the all-important symbolism, the last big club to do so, of being without corporate puke across our colours. that’s a fundamental shift in the nature of the club itself, and it’s Sandro Rosell alone who’s taken us there.

    the question is: what do the members in Catalunya think of this? i’m very interested to know if they’re as invested in selling out as their president is?

  11. JC
    December 10, 2010

    Long time reader here.

    I’ll get heat for this but I don’t care either way.

    Will you guys stop supporting the team because it has a shirt sponsor?

    First of all, I didn’t start supporting the club because they had no shirt sponsor. Barça became my favorite club because they play good football. I also follow FCB Basquet, and they have had AXA, Regal and other companies on their jerseys for a long time.

    How many of you guys have actively participated in Unicef’s programs. How many of you have followed their efforts? I think it’s a little pretentious for people to say that they are proud that Unicef has been on Barça’s shirt, if in reality they care little about the work Unicef has done.

    Maybe I’m just an outsider. Not being Catalan and all.

    • Jose
      December 10, 2010

      As a teenager in the Dominican Republic, I volunteered in UNICEF’s efforts in recently flooded communities. UNICEF’s permanent presence in the developing world usually means they, along with the Red Cross, are the first there for those in need.

    • P
      December 10, 2010

      I agree. I thought Mes Que Un Club always had to do with being anti-Madrid. I didn’t realize it had much to do with shirt sponsorship. I think you can still be unique, be more than a club, and have a shirt sponsor. For over a century there was no sponsor on the shirt, however, things change, sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. One thing is clear though. Most, if not all of us support Barcelona because of their policy to utilize the youth team, their policy to play attacking football. So they have a shirt sponsor now. Does that diminish the above?

      • Ryan
        December 10, 2010

        FCB has to do with being Catalan, not being anti-Madrid.

      • P
        December 10, 2010

        Catalans are anti-Madrid and FCB is a forefront of that. When Franco forbade the use of the Catalan language it was inside the Camp Nou where they were free to speak it. FCB has as much to do with Catalonia as it does being anti-Madrid. As intertwined as FCB is with the Catalan culture, it’s hard not to be anti-Madrid.

      • Ryan
        December 10, 2010

        Hmm, I would argue that the characteristics and culture of Catalunya are more of a guiding force than simply being against the capital. Of course there’s an anti-Madrid element, but being anti-EE isn’t what defines the club.

        In any case, I like to see FCB as the bastion/ambassador of Catalunya rather than primarily the counterbalance to Madrid.

  12. Auld Super
    December 10, 2010

    I don’t think people would stop supporting the club over this and I certainly won’t but there was something very noble about not soiling the shirt with a sponsor. In my case it’s not the whole reason I support Barca but it did differentiate the club from the likes of RM and Man U who were also playing good football at the time but were money making machines whereas Barca was a club representing a people and a region who respected the shirt too much to have some logo plastered across it. Now sadly today all that has changed forever.

  13. cita
    December 10, 2010

    I wonder if we’ll hear any reactions to this from any of the unsuccessful election candidates? Come to think of it, I don’t remember hearing anything from them when the soci policy was changed either.

    I spent some time going through Pep’s election blog, and it’s fascinating reading six months later. It makes me particularly curious to know Ingla’s thoughts about how all this is playing out.

  14. Colby
    December 10, 2010

    “Final numbers of the Qatar Foundation deal: 15M for the coming 6 months, 150M (+5M extras) for shirt sponsorship from 2011 to 2016, 170M max” (Pep’s twitter).

    Does that mean that the shirts will have the logo starting immediately (or as soon as they figure out what it will look like?)

    Basically, should I buy this year’s kit immediately rather than waiting until March like I was planning?

    • Jnice
      December 10, 2010

      The shirts with the Qatar Foundation logos are for the 2011/2012 season. You can wait till March to buy this year’s kit.

  15. simple_barcafan
    December 10, 2010

    doomed…

    • beeeef
      December 10, 2010

      thanks for the confirmation yo.

      when it comes to interviews with barca players in the media, you can never be sure!

  16. Soy Culé
    December 10, 2010

    Hello all;
    This news comes as a shock to me more than anything. But something else happened to me that makes me even more disgusted than the apparent new sponsorship deal.

    So my birthday is September 2nd. For my birthday, I ordered myself a Barça shirt (the pistachio-green away kit) from the US Store on the BarcelonaShop around Sept. 15th.
    I figured I would get it within the standard 2 weeks or so. But a month went by, and I got an e-mail from the club saying the shirt was back-ordered, and I would have to wait until about November. No biggie. So Nov. came, and I got another e-mail saying it was pushed back again until mid-December.
    So, here we are, mid-December. I just sent the club an e-mail today, and they said my order would be further delayed until late January. So I just canceled the order.

    Has this happened to anyone else? And does anyone know why it’s happening? For the best club in the world to treat fans like that is disgusting. I get that there may be some complications in an order, but to delay someone’s order for 5 MONTHS is astonishing. Are you telling me the best club in the world doesn’t have the resources to make a shirt and send it to a fan outside of Europe within at most a month?

    I wasn’t happy about the sponsorship deal. But now, I’m just hurt. Cheers everyone.

    • beeeef
      December 10, 2010

      where do you live?

    • Nik
      December 10, 2010

      I’m not sure what the issue is. Must be something on the supply side with Nike. My Barca winter-jacket that I bought was delayed a month instead of the two weeks, but it did eventually come.

      • December 10, 2010

        The FCBarcelonashopusa.com store is somehow affiliated with World Soccer Shop, an entity that, politely put, blows. As long as they have the item in stock, you will get it. If they don’t, woe betide you.

        The club aligns itself with various order fulfillers. In Europe it’s Kitbag (who I order from, precisely because the N. America Barca shop sucks so bad). Here it has to be World Soccer Shop because if you visit one, they have the same stocking issues.

        The real bummer is that because they want to prop up the N. American shop, you can’t order from the official shop, as you used to be able to do.

      • Nik
        December 10, 2010

        How much more do you spend by buying through Kitbag?

      • December 10, 2010

        It works out to about the same, actually. Shipping is a bit more expensive because I choose the air mail option. But Kitbag usually has everything, and ordering is very easy via PayPal.

      • HY
        December 10, 2010

        God I want some of the stuff in the European official shop. Some of the merchandise available there, you can’t even find in the North American one. BUMMER.

      • Soy Culé
        December 11, 2010

        Thanks Kxevin, I see what you’re saying. I guess I made the mistake of ordering from the BarcelonaUSAShop. I do notice that they don’t sell the same items that they do on the European store, but I didn’t think that my order would be screwed up so poorly.

        Thanks for the advice.

        BTW, beeef, I live in NY, hence why I ordered from the USA shop. I didn’t know it (the USA shop) was that bad.

    • HY
      December 10, 2010

      I’ve had this problem with the Away kit, but not the Home kit. I pre-ordered both during the summer. The Home kit arrived on time but the Away one kept being delayed. Now the estimated arrival date is 5/11/10, when the season is almost over. *rolls eyes* Actually, on every online retailer I’ve come across, if you want the authentic Away jersey, you’ll have to wait until next May.

      • HY
        December 11, 2010

        I mean 5/11/11.

  17. BarcaOwl
    December 10, 2010

    I must admit this whole thing saddens me. As long as there is a sponsor on the shirts, I’ll not buy them. Guess I’d better get what I can afford while it’s sponsor-free. 🙁 *sigh*

  18. Veritaserum
    December 11, 2010

    I’m not upset Barca negotiated a shirt sponsorship. I’m upset they chose the Qatar Foundation and didn’t consult with team members. I don’t care that in 2003, statutes were changed. All the rhetoric about transparency and you negotiate a back-room deal under the noses of socios. That is the exact opposite of being transparent. Why didn’t Barca take up a sponsorship with the Catalan tourism board or with a Catalan based company. That would fall directly in line with Mes Que Un Club. But QF? So Barca is taking 30 mil a year from a non-profit? Thankfully, Barca is an organization where club members do have a say. I definitely feel a vote of no confidence being possible for Rosell. In the meantime, as fans who can’t become members thanks to Rosell, we do have a voice. We can choose not to buy Barca’s shirts or merchandise.

  19. stowe
    December 11, 2010

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  20. blitzen
    December 11, 2010

    Well, I’m not going to comment much on the issue because Kxevin has already pretty much said everything there is to say, and I’m late to the party having been travelling all day (I hate Greyhound immensely FWIW). I am very unhappy about this, but not surprised. It was in the cards from the moment Rosell was elected, so the socis have only themselves to blame. I am consoling myself with the following points:

    –the Qatar Foundation is a non-profit that does some good work.
    –apparently part of the agreement is that the Unicef logo will always be larger than the Qatar Foundation logo.
    –a tree logo is….better?….than lots of other things.
    –since we will no longer have the FIFA Club World Cup logo on our shirts, I imagine that is where this new logo will be located, so the shirt design shouldn’t be too different.
    –I already have my Xavi shirt without any corporate logo. 😀

  21. stowe
    December 11, 2010

    that logo is hideous! at least i have a couple home kits with the unicef logo. I love that we supported unicef and advertised for it. it will not be the same seeing that ugly tree

  22. barca96
    December 11, 2010

    Guys, we are fans from outside Barcelona but it seems once again that a lot of people in Barcelona itself do like Rosell and this sponsorship thing.
    A massive 40% found it to be a good idea that we have a shirt sponsor.
    Their voices are more likely to be heard than ours.

  23. Spiro
    December 11, 2010

    I can see why this sponsership deal went through,

    right now the club is experiencing an increase in popularity at a rate never seen before. remember, the figures on facebook where something like 5-7 million fans. From a business point of view, it is understandable why QF would pay so much for a sponsership deal, since they will gain an awarness power greater than from anything else.

    Again, Im assuming Rosell viewed the situation from this direction, because its very obvious that he is a businessman type person, and we should know better than to expect anything else from him.

    I feel that Rosell has made a rather naive move right now, he hasn’t taken into consideration what implcations a shirt sponsor might have to the shirst sales, attendance numbers and most important television ratings for the club.

    to me, I feel that the shirt sponser affects more than that, it affects a lot of the qualitative aspects of the club. It also contradicts the clubs motto, which is equivalent to an organisations mission statement, any contradiction is bad business.

    lastly, it also affect the satisfaction of being a fan or a soci, damn it even affects the satisfaction of a general viewer.

    again then there is the long term implications which bring darker more greater consequences.

    I have a feeling that Rosell jumped too quickly to the idea. and to me i feel upset because we are the ones who are most affected.

  24. Miguel
    December 11, 2010

    kamikaze kontiki,

    i miss your shit on pep’s old blog, where can i follow you?

  25. K(legit)
    December 11, 2010

    I have a Nike store near my house where I get most of my Barça stuff..thing is, however, they tend to stock up on Man Utd merchandise as the BPL is the no. 1 craze in my country and so getting jerseys is a bit difficult.

    • Vj
      December 11, 2010

      Tell me immediately if you have a breakthrough..

      In my recent visit to New Delhi, I was ecstatic after spying on a jersey, imagine my disappointment when it started to read Ibr… on its back..

  26. simple_barcafan
    December 11, 2010

    the QF website would have had more hits after this deal was disclosed then till now..exactly what they would have wanted…

  27. simple_barcafan
    December 11, 2010

    “Poll result: “Do you think it’s good Barcelona would put a sponsor on the shirt? No 60% – Yes 40% [sport]”

    @courtesy barcastuff..interesting..does it reflect the opinion of the Catalan ppl??

  28. jaymin
    December 11, 2010

    pau gasol is now the solitary thing that makes FCB more than a club.

  29. jaymin
    December 11, 2010

    everyone has to live in the world, and as a pragmatist it was painful to think how much money Barcelona were foregoing year to year with their unicef stunt. They are the name in world sport right now, and they finally have a deal which suits and serves them. I hope they keep the unicef logo too.

    • Jim
      December 11, 2010

      Can’t agree with the “stunt” comment. What Barcelona did there is, imo, a shining example to other clubs.

      Likewise,’ though I can’t seem to get as steamed up as some others seem to be. I’m not Catalan and I’m not as steeped in the club’s traditions as some here whose opinions I respect so I need to reflect that maybe I’m missing something.

      However, although distasteful in both the deed and the method it happened it may be that there is a danger of overreacting to this. ( I say this as someone who has a habit of overreacting when something close to my heart changes suddenly 🙂 ) You can be too close to something to look at it objectively and we are in the fortunate position of not having to balance the books of the club.

      I found myself agreeing with most of the points made in the article below from Total Barca.

      *http://www.totalbarca.com/2010/opinion-pieces/opinions-still-mes-que-un-club-it-is-still-a-mes-que-un-shirt/#more-60477

      • mei
        December 11, 2010

        I wont go with the shining example moto.
        Not in business level , not in sporting terms either.

        Many players,managers,officials say very nice things about barcelona but they do not look up to us as an example.

        Its more like a forbidden pleasure , or more precisely an exception.

        Nobody will try to play like us and they will give you the excuses that are valid though : you need players good enough and bonded well together , a courageous coach , even fans that demand that more than trophies/good results against their rivals.
        The truth is that nevermind the above ,I cant think any team would dare to put their goals and their “red lines” in danger just to live up to a model that may offer them the chance to play in a beatiful way at some point.
        Coaches like their joband the money it provides them with, presidents and fans dont like to lose against their rivals , weaker teams , trophies.
        Good looking or not doesnt matter and will probably never will, because afterall their presence within their respective teams is temporary.

        The homegrown players advantage barcelona has is not just saved money and deserved pride of producing talent that is present in their first team and goes on to win trophies in a spectacular way :
        its the essence that these guys are forged to play beatifully in an attacking system.
        And that style is permanent.

      • mei
        December 11, 2010

        And thats a major issue here too.
        Fans before our recent success were proud of the club without the trophies , and attached to the club because of the history , tradition , style.
        Even fans that joined after 2004 are pretty much connected more to these values rather than trophies.

        Somebody tries to hack these? I can quarantee that many fans will feel alieanated , even more than the recent member restriction(that doesnt matter much because in the past things were more or less the same).

        Plus theres always the what if question following.
        So now we start giving our tradition away.
        What if our sporting success comes to a halt? What are we gonna be proud of , the past success?
        Its even harder for us that have learnt to be proud of other things than that anyway , and these things will not be there when we need them more, and thats when the sporting success will pass which i can assure you it will.

      • Jim
        December 11, 2010

        Not sure you understood my point, Mei. I said I didn’t regard the UNICEF as a “stunt” and that I thought it provided a good example for other clubs , not that I thought they necessarily would follow it. It had nothing whatsoever to do with a way of play on the pitch and neither does the whole jersey business.

        However, to say that other managers don’t regard us a good template for the way to play football is a bit off. At every level of the game fans, players and managers ( not that they didn’t before) are realising that if you have the ball the other team can’t hurt you, that good doesn’t necessarily mean big and that you can save yourself money by having a genuine youth system where youngsters learn your system wherever that happens to be.

        The attitude to Barcelona’s style has swung round in the last two years from being “It looks pretty but how will they do against pace and brute strength” (EPL, I’m looking at you) to ” My god, if they play, we’re all in for a tanking”.

        Finally, I love the way we play and to me, it is non-negotiable. I try to get my team to play like us at my Monday night kickabout ( anyone else find themselves irritated by the needless loss of possession even in our bounce games since we started watching our team?) and the team have money in the bank for me in the sense that I’m prepared to lose some trophies if we play in that certain way and are true to it but I’m not kidding myself that there’ll be many others in Barcelona or elsewhere who would put up with, for example, the trophyless years that Arsenal have had to endure. Just look at our Liveblog when we start an individual game uncertainly. The stress gets to us and the negative comments flow. Imagine a season of that.

        My main point was really that I’m just not coming from a place where I can see the extra logo on the shirt as threatening all this.

  30. ML
    December 11, 2010

    Am i the only one that thinks that this decision may hamper our performances on the pitch? Think about it.

    • Jnice
      December 11, 2010

      Doubt it.

  31. sheena
    December 11, 2010

    Via Pep on twitter:
    -“Barcelona consider to add the name of a sponsor to the new Palau Blaugrana, the home of the basketball and other teams. [el mundo deportivo]”
    -“Adding a sponsor to the name of the Palau, could be a test for doing the same with the Camp Nou later. [el mundo deportivo]”

    *hyperventilates and dies*

    • K(legit)
      December 11, 2010

      Oh man one blow after another..what are you doing Rossel?
      Alienate each and every non-Catalan fan?

    • Helge
      December 11, 2010

      My local football stadium has also been renamed from “Bielefelder Alm” to “Schüco Arena”. Still, we fans call it “Alm” and even the radio reporters often refer to it by its old name.

    • IS
      December 11, 2010

      Now I’m genuinely worried about the future Camp Nou remodeling plans. RoSELL won’t have a hard time finding plenty of corporates to fund the project…

  32. Lou
    December 11, 2010

    Question for those who read Sport and EMD: do they generally take sides in the Rosell/Laporta wars? By analogy I know that Marca absolutely worships the ground that Florentino Perez walks on and basically won the RM Presidency for him, but do either of the Catalan papers have a similar loyalty to Rosell?

    And if not have there been complaints in either paper about Rosell selling the shirt?

    • Jnice
      December 11, 2010

      I’ve heard MD has ties to Rosell.

  33. El Diez
    December 11, 2010

    Does anyone knows how much money we lose if ‘TV revenue sharing’ happens? I think there is already a proposal and we might lose some in that. Since some teams has not agreed for the deal, there is a chance more of sharing can happen in the coming years.
    Doesnt this shirt deal cover for the above loss?

  34. Auld Super
    December 11, 2010

    The shirt deal wouldn’t even come close to covering that loss. I might be wrong here ( although it’s highly unlikely ) but I think the TV deal is 600m over 5 years.

    Interesting piece in the mirror today about Van Persie wanting to meet Barca in the champions league next, – are this the same Barca team that have only one weakness – set up your team to stifle them over two legs and you might get lucky. But if you fancy taking them on at football they will bury you. Be careful what you wish for Robin, you might just get it.

    • Helge
      December 11, 2010

      Well, obviously the current TV rights are being sold for about 160m p.a. (cf. Euler’s last post)
      But the TV revenue sharing doesn’t mean that we would suddenly get no more money at all, I think a loss of about 30m p.a. is a reasonable guess. At least it comes pretty close to covering that loss. But so far, this new TV deal hasn’t been put through (afaik).

    • December 11, 2010

      You can see the current TV revenue scheme on our blog on the sidebar–scroll down to “las tablas” on the right.

      You and RM currently take 280m, or about 47% of the total 600m in TV revenue (while grabbing about 30% of the TV audience combined). Under the new plan proposed by you and RM, you two would get a combined 34%. However, the deal is set to take place in 2014, and they’re projecting that TV revenue will be at 900 million by then. In other words, you’ll be making MORE money (approx. 150m).

      Interestingly, in the RM/Barca proposal many Liga teams won’t see their revenues increase (even though overall revenue increases) because after RM/Barca’s chunk, there’s still the 22% for Atleti/Valencia, and then 10% set aside for Segunda/relegated teams, leaving about 34% of the revenue for the remaining 13 Liga teams, or an average of 23m each.

      • December 11, 2010

        Oops–correction: Val/Atleti get 11% TOTAL, not each. So my numbers need to be adjusted accordingly. Sorry for the confusion. If you want to read more, this post (and the comments section) covers the most recent developments from the last time the presidents met (Nov. 17).

        *http://monchismen.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/barcarmatletivalencia-vs-sevillavillarrealathleticsociedadmalagaetc-match-preview/

  35. Nick
    December 11, 2010

    What is our current debt?

    • momo
      December 11, 2010

      That’s precious!

  36. jaime
    December 11, 2010

    people…we need to start putting together some petitions or something…we can’t just sit here and be frustrated.

    i dont know much about organizing,but we should get as many people to let Rosell know how we feel

    P.S: as outraged as I am, I am not surprised.I always knew Rosell would do this….as I know well he will not bring fabregas,he’ll let Alves go to City, and he’ll run Guardiola out as well. Enjoy being a winner now Barça fans, becuse with Alexandre at the helm the glory will not last long

  37. MoSSi
    December 11, 2010

    Keep whining about it isn’t gonna change anything, the decision has been made. The board doesn’t has the same view as most Culés..

    We have a game on sunday, remember?

  38. jordi(TM)
    December 11, 2010

    😀 Yaya destroying west ham today.2 golazos.

    • K(legit)
      December 11, 2010

      he is really blossoming as an attacking mid in Cited…two proper golazos..the first for power, precision etc..the 2nd for his run

  39. Euler
    December 11, 2010

    Cules should be prepared for some kind of commercial sponsorship renaming of Camp Nou.

    It’s going to happen.

    In many ways selling the shirt is more of an encroachment than selling the name of the stadium complex.

    The shirt is visible and something you are aware (consciously or unconsciously) of all the time as the team plays.

    This Board’s priorities were to make sure the club itself is locked as ethnically catalan and to then maximize revenue.

    If they can find some other deep pocketed non-profit or something similar – they’ll sell stadium sponsorship.

    From their perspective what’s the big deal in selling the stadium name – all the Catalans will just continue to call it Camp Nou anyway.

    • K(legit)
      December 11, 2010

      I just hope the stadium renaming doesn’t happen in the time Rossel is still in charge
      *false hope*

      • Euler
        December 11, 2010

        He’s not even 6 months into his term.

        Its going to happen.

        It’ll be one of the ways he can say he took the club from the financial crisis he found it in an “saved” it, increasing it’s revenues 50% or whatever figure he has targeted.

      • beeeef
        December 11, 2010

        the confidence you have in rosell actually adding a commercially sponsored name to the camp nou is chilling.

        and yet after considering the magnitude of what has transpired in the last couple of days, it doesn’t seem like that audacious of a claim at all.

        🙁

  40. Kari
    December 11, 2010

    Ha! Juan Albin put Getafe 1-0 up in the 89th min. vs Villareal and celebrates by taking his shirt off. And getting a second yellow.

    Liverpool… ouch. I don’t know how it happened by Joey freakin’ Barton just scored to put Newcastle 2-1 up. Ouch.

  41. jzm
    December 11, 2010

    I frankly don’t see what’s wrong with it. Advertising is not bad. It isn’t whoring to accept sponsership in return for money. Let’s face it, money makes the world goes round though most people dont want to admit it. Most other clubs do that. Even FIFA/UEFA also accept sponsership as a means to pay off some of the expenses in organising the tournament. Football like many things else is about money. Heck, even Barcelona who is more than a club needs money. Your players and coach are not doing their job for free. Most of them asked for millions upon millions of dollars as wages, despite some of their self-proclaim undying love for the club. There are expenses to be paid. Pep just admit that the club need the money. And you should remember not too long ago, the club was forced to take up a bank loan just to meet employee’s wage expenses. Obviously contribution from the soci members aren’t enough to pay for all the cost. So when the management has to find other source of income, suddenly there is this outrage?

    If you feel so strongly about the issue, perhaps the soci memebers can band together to dwell into their private personal savings inorder to pay off the club debt and meet all its current and future expenses. Until that happen, all these, and including this article is just BS to me and nothing more than empty gesture trying to moralize from a high horse.

  42. Katu
    December 13, 2010

    Qatar Foundation is a mix of non profit and corporate JVs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar_Foundation

    Rosell can’t see the wood for the trees? ;-S

    People will still buy the shirt. I’m an Arsenal fan and refuse to buy the Emirates logo shirt so go without, but am in a minority. I also call the ground the Grove.
    Seriously, it is a pity that for 111 years you can manage without overt corporate logos but now you are so successful and beautiful to watch, your President sells out. Maybe it’s because you and RM may have to share TV revenue in the future?
    Players’ wages are also out of control.

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