Sunday sees Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain clash in the Champions League final in Lisbon.
Both clubs have sponsorship deals with Qatar Airways – though in Bayern’s case as a domestic sleeve sponsor, meaning their logo won’t be seen in the decider.
It’s not the first time that the clubs have shared a sponsor – and the previous instance was at a time when Uefa’s rules meant two competing teams couldn’t wear the same markings on the front of their shirts.
Presumably, this regulation was to prevent any non-Uefa sponsor gaining too much exposure ahead of preferred businesses. Whatever the reason, it meant that Opel, who sponsored the two clubs and AC Milan in the 1990s, were denied full representation (in European competition, that is – for the pre-season Opel Master Cup, the full branding was on show).
The first time that Bayern and PSG clashed in the Champions League was in 1994-95, with PSG progressing. On that occasion, they had Liptonic as their European sponsors but in the summer of 1995 they joined forces with Opel.
PSG and Bayern were drawn together in the group stages in 1997, meeting each other in the third and fourth fixtures. In Munich, PSG wore unsponsored shirts as Bayern won 5-1, but a fortnight later they won 3-1 against a Bayern side promoting Sportler für Organspende (Athletes for organ donation).
The clubs were again in the same group in 2000-01, but by this stage Uefa had relented slightly in that, while the same sponsor was still prevented from being on both teams’ shirts, a product of that business could be displayed.
Again, the teams met in the middle two rounds of fixtures. PSG – now in white home socks, forcing Bayern to wear their home set – won 1-0 at home. While Uefa had allowed larger sponsors logos from 1999-2000 onwards, PSG still didn’t have the Opel lightning-bolt logo for European games but their visitors did, along with the name of the Agila car.
Then, when Bayern triumphed 3-0 three weeks later, PSG’s silver away shirts had ‘Corsa’ on them, albeit in a non-Opel font.
Uefa kept the ‘sponsor clash’ rule until the end of 2009-10, but there were to be no more all-Opel meetings, with Bayern, PSG and Milan all switching sponsors during the decade.