Liverpool’s £80m shirt deal equals biggest ever
Liverpool have secured a new shirt sponsorship deal that equals the most lucrative in football history after signing a four-year agreement with Standard Chartered, the London-based international bank, worth £80 million over four years.
With their present deal with Carlsberg due to expire in mid-2010, Liverpool’s commercial department, headed by Ian Ayre, has been looking for a money-spinning agreement in keeping with the club’s status as one of the most recognisable brands in world sport. Until July, an exclusivity accord with Carlsberg prevented them from entering into talks with any other interested parties but once that had expired, Liverpool moved swiftly to tie up a new deal.
Carlsberg has enjoyed a 17-year relationship with Liverpool, one of the longest-running associations in world sport, but was unwilling to match the £20 million a season offer made by Standard Chartered, which equals the deal struck by Manchester United with Aon Corp, the American financial giant, in June.
Liverpool have long been criticised by their supporters for punching below their weight when it comes to commercial opportunities but the sponsorship deal struck by Ayre, the commercial director, is an indication that the club are beginning to make the most of their glittering history and worldwide fan base.
The fact that the Merseyside club have secured a sponsorship arrangement on a par with United’s is also hugely symbolic, with Liverpool having trailed some way behind their North West rivals for several years in terms of commercial enterprise. Liverpool’s deal with Carlsberg, for example, is worth just £7.2 million per annum, a figure that fell short of United’s £14 million income from AIG, the American insurance corporation.
The deal with Standard Chartered will be confirmed by Liverpool imminently, with George Gillett Jr, the club’s co-owner, having admitted during a radio interview that he expects a formal announcement to be made on Friday. “I think people will be pleased and surprised,” Gillett said. “It will be one of the great, worldwide corporations. And I think it will be a sponsor people will be pleased and surprised to be [associated with].”
For the first time since he bought Liverpool along with Tom Hicks in February 2007, Gillett has admitted that he could be willing to sell the club “if someone gets beamed in who’s got bags of money”.
But the revelation was tempered by the American’s admission that he would “probably” be at the helm for the long term.
“The club is in outstanding shape,” Gillett said. “Economically, it’s never been stronger. We just paid down our debt very substantially. We have less debt per dollar than any club in the league.”
Liverpool, meanwhile, have sealed a £250,000 deal with Southend United for the transfer of Michael Ngoo, a 16-year-old centre forward who was also being watched by Manchester United. Ngoo, who is 6ft 4in and has been likened in style to Peter Crouch, impressed during a recent trial with United but Liverpool have beaten their North West rivals to his signature after meeting Southend’s asking price.
In a departure from the recent furore surrounding the transfers of a number of teenagers, the deal for Ngoo has not resulted in acrimony between Liverpool and Southend, with the Coca-Cola League One club praising their Barclays Premier League counterparts for the way negotiations were conducted.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/ ... 831489.ece
Passare dai 7,2 milioni della Carlsberg, ai 20 di questa Standard Chartered non può che essere positivo.
Spero solo che parte dei soldi incassati vengano utilizzati per il mercato...