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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Shirt Sponsorship

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The organised supporter

The latest in the three part Financial Times series on 'football in crisis' focuses on the supporter, but in particular on 'the organised supporter'.   What is an organised supporter?   No definition is offered, but presumably it means someone whose involvement goes beyond attending games and then moaning on message boards and football phone ins about the manager or their favourite scapegoat player.

Barca fans split over shirt move

Barcelona is more than a football club: literally it is because it is involved in other sports as is often the case in continental Europe.  But more than that is a symbol of Catalan nationalism and is linked to memories of the Republican side in the Spanish civil war. 


 It is also held up as an example of how fans can own and run a club.  Unfortunately, this seems to have led to massive and almost unmanageable debts which is why Barca has had to compromise its principles and accept a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal from the Qatar Foundation.

Qatar swoops for Barca shirts

Having secured the World Cup for 2022, the rulers of Qatar have made their latest move in world football by securing the sponsorship of Barcelona shirts.    It is actually the Qatar Foundation that is the sponsor, but this is chaired by the wife of the Emir of Qatar who was highly visible when it was announced that Fifa was allocating the 2022 World Cup to the Emirate.  The Sh

Rich guy backs Bedlington

The latest American billionaire to get involved in English football, the aptly named Bob Rich, is devoting some of his fortune to Northern League Division 1 club Bedlington Terriers.   Interviewed on Radio 5 this evening he explained that genealolgical research had led him to discover family links with the area and his wife bought him the manorial title.   He then learnt about the football club which he has since visited.

Spurs land second shirt sponsorship

The idea dreamt up by Spurs of having a different shirt sponsor for Champions League and cup competitions seems to have paid off.    Management firm Investec have signed a deal thought to be worth £5m over two years to complement the £20m main deal with Autonomy.   If Spurs had not recovered from the initial 3-0 deficit against Young Boys in Berne last night, Investec may have been questioning the value of the deal.   There is, after all, no guarantee that Spurs will be in the Champions League next season ev

Shirt sponsorship deals soar

The recession proof character of the Premier League is shown once again by the fact that shirt sponsorship deals have soared this season.   A study by Sporting Intelligence shows that the value of the deals is nearly £100m, up £71.8m from last season.

Referees land seven figure sponsorship deal

Referees in the Professional Game Match Organisation have landed a seven figure sponsorship deal over three years.  Their new sponsors are the Tune Group, who own Air Asia, emphasising once again how important the Asian market is to top flight football in England.  The benefits for the sponsors are clear: access to over 2,000 games and 3 billion viewers worldwide.

Takeover at Forest Green

Cash strapped Conference club Forest Green Rovers, who have been struggling to pay off historic tax debts, look as if they are about to be taken over.   Dale Vince, Britain's richest green entrepreneur, is poised to make a bid.  His wind power company is based in Stroud, close to the Nailsworth club.  He has built up a £85m fortune and ranks 657th in the UK's rich list.  He has previously sponsored Shortwood United.


The good news follows the announcement last week of a lucrative two-year shirt sponsorship with Coventry Building Society.

FA step up search for new England sponsor

With a friendly against Hungary just three weeks away, the FA is stepping up the search for a new main England sponsor after Nationwide formally confirmed they are no longer interested.  The FA decided not to re-sign with the building society before the World Cup, gambling that success would lead to a better deal.  Now the FA has had to lower its sights to a £5m a year deal over four seasons rather than the £10m it was hoping for.

Novel approach to shirt sponsorship

Tottenham Hotspur are taking a novel approach to shirt sponsorship for the coming season.  They have landed a £20m deal with software infrastructure company Autonomy for their league matches.   They are seeking a separate sponsor for cup matches and are already in discussion with a number of brands.   Spurs are, of course, in the Champions League and have a good chance of progressing again in cup competitions, so it could be a good bet for a sponsor.   It migh