Real Madrid's usual crest (left) and the modified version used for UAE partnership (right).
In the initial response to the announcement that work would soon begin on a ridiculous $1 billion Real Madrid-themed resort island in the United Arab Emirates, the focus was obviously on talk of brand growth and jokes about Pepe. But now that the plan has progressed and the foundation stone has been laid, Marca has noticed a tiny but interesting change Real Madrid made for this project.
As the Spanish paper points out, the club removed the little cross from the crown atop their logo on the project's promotional materials (you can see the modified crest at the start of this video). Marca describes the change as a means "to avoid any confusion or misinterpretation" in relation to a project being built in a largely Muslim region.
The cross has only been a part of the club's crest because it was a part of King Alfonso XIII's crown, which was added to the crest in 1920 when he granted the club his royal patronage and their name changed from Madrid Club de Futbol to Real Madrid. All the royal symbols were then removed from the club's crest and name in 1931 when the monarchy was dissolved, though they were restored at the end of the Spanish civil war in 1941 and have remained since.
So the cross is hardly an untouchable symbol of the club's religious devotion and mainly just part of an ornamental hat that they have no problem modifying when inventing grandiose new ways to make money.
Next for Real Madrid's misinterpretation avoidance department: Replacing the "MCF" in the center of the crest with a picture of club president Florentino Perez shaking tourists by their ankles as money falls out of their pockets.
- Real Madrid