Top flight European football club and Spanish La Liga giants, Real Madrid are set to make a controversial change to their famous badge, a move which seeks to increase merchandising sales out in the Middle East.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reports that the small cross at the very top of the crest, which of course is symbolic of both Christianity and Catholicism, will be removed in order to improve religious 'sensitivities'.
The Galaticos have recently agreed a deal with United Arab Emirates based company Marka, who control a number of retail distribution centres in the region. Los Blancos hope that the deal will see a growth in the club's revenue coming from the UAE and surrounding countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the hosts for the 2022 World Cup, Qatar.
Whilst the move will upset some of the more conservative members of Real's fanbase, Khaled al-Mheiri, the vice president of Marka, has insisted that the removal of the cross at the top of the logo is necessary. He told Reuters (as quoted by 101 Great Goals):
“We have to be careful in the Gulf regions where there is sensitivity about products having a cross”.
This is of course not the first time that the La Liga giants have altered their logo and suffered the wrath of the fans. Back in 2014, Madrid altered it as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the leading bank in the United Arab Emirates.
Hmmm, what do you have to say about Christianity's gradual lukewarmness and supposed tolerance to non-Christian sensitivities? Or is this just a business move?