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Mubadala wins $440m court case against Real Madrid

Real Madrid Mubadala Reuters/Violeta Santos Moura
Real Madrid claimed Mubadala reneged on an agreement but the court came down on the side of the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor
  • Abu Dhabi sovereign investor versus Spanish football giants
  • Agreement was struck to sponsor Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
  • Emirates airline logo has been on player jerseys since 2013

An international court has ruled in favour of Abu Dhabi sovereign investor Mubadala in a $440 million case against Spanish football giants Real Madrid.

The lawsuit surrounded a potential 20-year sponsorship deal for the naming rights to Los Blancos’ Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

Real Madrid claimed Mubadala had reneged on the agreement, which was originally struck in 2014 and also involved renovating the area surrounding the stadium.

The arbitral tribunal constituted under the rules of the Court of International Trade in Paris came down on the side of Mubadala, according to a report from Reuters.

The La Liga heavyweights agreed to the sponsorship deal with International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to globalise the club’s assets and turn the Santiago Bernabeu into the “greatest sporting venue” in the world.

In January 2017, Abu Dhabi’s government formed a new fund, Mubadala Investment Company, by merging Mubadala Development Company and IPIC, which owns corporate stakes in the energy industry and other sectors worldwide.

A Madrid court halted the original modification of the stadium in 2015. The new plan, which was approved by the Madrid city council in 2017, differed from the one the club and Mubadala had agreed on.

The court ruled the sponsorship contract had expired by the time the second expansion was agreed in 2017.

Real Madrid last October renewed a sponsorship deal with Emirates until 2026. Spanish sports newspaper Marca reported the contract’s value at about €70 million per year plus variables. Emirates’ logo has been on the jerseys worn by Real Madrid players since 2013.