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SBD Global/August 23, 2012/Finance
Investments From The Middle East Boost The Revenues Of European Football Clubs
Published August 23, 2012
INVESTING IN TRANSFERS: The DUBAI CHRONICLE reported that the "most high profile area of investment by Middle East owners in recent years has been in the transfer market." There is also "significant ongoing investment in physical infrastructure and facilities in Manchester, and stadium development plans being discussed in Paris." Interest in European football has not been limited to club owners and sponsors. Broadcaster al-Jazeera has "recently increased its broadcast rights portfolio with the acquisition of further European football rights" (DUBAI CHRONICLE, 8/22). A WHARTON BUSINESS SCHOOL study revealed that "Abu Dhabi's royals aren't the first to buy into European soccer as a means to broaden their country's exposure to the world." Dubai-owned Emirates airline has a stadium and jersey sponsorship deal with Arsenal FC. Another Dubai firm, Royal Emirates Group, bought the Spanish La Liga club Getafe in '11 for $130M, while Qatari billionaire Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani bought another Spanish club, Malaga, for $52M (WHARTON BUSINESS SCHOOL, 8/21).