Real Madrid has agreed to remove the Christian cross on its logo as part of a new clothing deal in the Middle East.
Although Madrid has Emirates, a Dubai-based airliner as its main shirt sponsor, the latest business deal involving six Middle Eastern countries is with a clothing manufacturing company named Marka.
According to a statement released on Tuesday by the United Arab Emirates company, “Marka has been granted exclusive rights to manufacture, distribute and sell Real Madrid products in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.”
Khaled al-Mheiri, the company’s Vice Chairman, told Reuters: “The redesign only requires a minor change as the original crest only features a very small Christian cross.
“We have to be sensitive to parts of the Gulf that are sensitive to products that hold the cross,” al-Mheiri added.
Madrid’s newest deal with Marka will include: T-shirts, polo shirts and swimwear.
All replica jerseys which are manufactured by Adidas will not be included in the production agreement. These selected items will be sold without any alteration on the club’s logo.
Los Blancos consented to removing the Christian cross from its logo in 2014 when the club signed a lucrative business deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, so their recent agreement with Marka isn’t a shock to football fans.
Madrid president Florentino Perez said at that time: “I know that the local people experience every match in a special way and that our links with the UAE are constantly growing stronger.
“This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.”
For more than a decade, Real Madrid has maintained its number one position as the world’s highest revenue generating football club although the title was recently lost to Manchester United and arch rivals Barcelona respectively.