Real Madrid go to banks for €370m loan; bring Saudi bank onboard as sponsor

October 30 – Real Madrid are looking to raise €370 million from banks to help finance refurbishment work at the their Santiago Bernabeu Stadium where costs have almost doubled to €1 billion form an initial €575 million budget.

The news broke at the same time the club announced the Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) as its new official bank in Saudi Arabia.

The sponsorship “will help the SAIB connect with Real Madrid fans in the country and offer their clients better products, services and unique experience in line with their needs and specific preferences”, said a club press release. It could also provide a logical financing solution for the required stadium funding.

Real Madrid are reportedly looking to secure the loan against ticketing revenue with a percentage of ticket money  repaying the debt and the interest. Any agreement for a loan has to be approved at Real Madrid’s shareholder meeting that will take place November 11.

All is not financial doom and gloom for Real Madrid. The club could receive up to €500 million from an underground car parking scheme.

The scheme involves the Madrid Council building an underground car park with 2,000 spaces next to the Santiago Bernabeu. The council will spend the €11.7 million to build the car park, while Real Madrid Estadio are the only company bidding to run the project, which could make them up to €561.5 million over the 40-year lease. The plans are currently held up following local objections to the EU courts.

The timing of the SAIB deal could prove to be useful. Emphasising what he hoped will be a long-term partnership, Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations Emilio Butragueño said: “It will help us to grow as a club and strengthen the relationship with all of our fans in Saudi Arabia, a country which is undergoing tremendous expansion in football terms. We believe it comes at the perfect time for us, so we’re really pleased and hope this alliance can last for many years.”

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