British Premier League is seeking a new sponsor, after Barclays said they will be pulling out by the end of 2015/16 season.
There’s a new champions in the Premier League: Manchester City, who managed to hold on to their lead, after winning over West Ham on the weekend. And although Liverpool overturned the 1 goal deficit to beat Newcastle it was still not enough to capture the title, that has eluded the Reds for so many years.
Chelsea remained comfortably in third, and Arsenal showed great consistence by making it into Champions League for yet another season following their 4th placement. Everton will be going to Europa League after finishing in fifth spot. As for the unlucky ones to leave the League it’s Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich.
Premier League sponsorship
The big question for next season is who will be the title sponsor of the league. Barclays is seriously contemplating ending their GBP 40 million annually deal, when the current agreement runs out in 2016 if not before that. And now the League is already in talks with potential replacements, which they want to finalize in the coming year.
One thing for certain, there will be no betting company operating under British gambling laws, sponsoring the Premier League, according to Richard Scudamore, the League’s chief executive. He said that if the League is to maintain integrity of the game, a sportsbook sponsor is out of the question.
British gambling news quote the executive: “Our title sponsorship is not for everybody. It’s not a straightforward, ‘we’ll take any brand that comes along’, it’s more complex than that. I think betting would be very difficult”.
Next door example
The second tier English football league known as the Football League or Championship, has agreed a five-year sponsorship deal last year with Sky Bet, one of the most renowned land-based and online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom. It is now known as Sky Bet Championship.
The deal is estimated at GBP 6 million a year, and includes an agreement with Sky Sports for TV rights worth millions, which will come into effect from next season. The agreement was signed after retailer B&Q pulled out of the negotiations over sponsorship, just three months ahead of the start of the season.
Comments from Scudamore
Premier League’s executive, had the following comments about Championship selecting a sportsbook for their title sponsor: “I understand the commercial imperative for the Football League who’ve gone with a betting company, I have no issue with that. But at our level the criticism and the scrutiny would be too great”.
Premier League is seeking a new sponsor
•The current deal with Barclays will end with 2015/16 season
•No betting company under British gambling laws will be selected
•Rising costs force Barclays to consider ending the deal
Richard Scudamore went on add that the sponsorship issue has its own degree of controversy. He said: “There are some Asian brands where no one would have a problem – Sony or Panasonic, for example – but if we suddenly wanted to call it the China Development Corporation Premier League people might have some real issues”.
The executive revealed that he’s constantly nervous about football’s integrity and trying to prevent the Premier League from becoming a victim for match-fixing controversies. Scudamore is renowned for suggesting permanent bans for players found to be involved in betting on football. When it comes to Premier League it is now officially prohibited for players, and anyone involved in the game to bet on any football matches.
The issue of financial fair play has also not escaped his attention. He recently game an interview to The Telegraph, where he sympathized with Manchester City over UEFA’s decision to fine them GBP 50 million for the breach of the above-mentioned financial fair play regulations.
Scudamore said: “Governments are going round the world trying to woo investment, it does seem odd that people are getting sniffy about the sort of investment that Man City have made.”
Barclays consideration to end the sponsorship
The GBP 40 million-a-year sponsorship deal Barclay’s have with the Premier League will run out by the end of 2015-16 season. The bank is currently contemplating leaving the deal at that and not prolonging their sponsorship.
The reasons are quite simple: the financial figures show “zero value” of the sponsorship in the United Kingdom according to the bank. Moreover, the company’s management is concerned that sports rights price inflation will ultimately mean they will have to spend much more if they want to extend the deal for another three years.
The bank has been sponsoring the Premier League since 2001, and back in 2012 has agreed to pay GBP 120 million for the rights they currently enjoy, it was a 50 percent hike from the price of the previous agreement, worth GBP 82 million.
Currently the war between BSkyB and BT is waging over the TV rights for football, driving the costs associated with sponsorship higher. The current BSkyB TV deal with Premier League is worth GBP 2.3 billion, which is 40 percent higher than before. Barclays was also forced to incur additional, so called “activation costs”, for using TV and social media to promote their end of the deal.
It remains to be seen which sponsor the Premier League will manage to land, when Barclays deal runs dry. One thing for sure now, it will not be a sportsbook or any company associated with betting on sports. Well, at least for the foreseeable future or management change.