The second-wealthiest soccer club in the world is taking a rare financial loss thanks to a botched sponsorship contract.
Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid has reportedly lost a claim for $440 million in the Court of International Trade in Paris for the breaking of a sponsorship agreement with the International Petroleum Investment Company in 2017.
In 2014, the La Liga legends brought on IPIC — now controlled by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company — to be the naming rights partner for the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, which was set for major renovations. Those upgrades didn’t go as planned, and IPIC eventually pulled out of the pact.
Real Madrid started a court battle in 2018 to recoup what it said was owed in sponsorship money, but have now been denied.
While the court battle has dragged on in recent years, Real Madrid found new financial partners in the Sixth Street investment group and entertainment experiences company Legends. Ongoing renovations at the Bernabeu could be completed by the end of this year.
Last year, Real Madrid reported a financial profit for the third straight year as it has continued to emerge from the pandemic.