El Centrocampista

AN ADVERTISING DREAM? APPARENTLY NOT… – Six clubs still search for shirt sponsors

By Richard Thorburn

With football regularly being described as ‘big business’ it will come as a surprise to some that no less than six La Liga teams will start the 2011/2012 season without a shirt sponsor.

Although traditionalists may see this as a positive move, it should be pointed out that none of the teams have decided to do this voluntarily.

It may also come as a surprise t0 many as to who the ‘un-sponsorod’ teams are this year with Spanish power houses and Europe qualifiers Valencia, Athletico Madrid, Sevilla and Villareal all struggling to attract a buyer who will meet their reported three million euro price tag.

While it may be somewhat refreshing to switch on the TV this season and see the two competing teams not covered head to toe with logos, scratch the surface and the economic impact could be huge to clubs who are currently already struggling to turn in figures of the black nature.

Last year’s report suggest that Valencia received six million euros from betting site ‘Unibet’ while Athletico Madrid generated seven million euros from car manufacturers Kia.

Atletí are now without Kun and a shirt sponsor.

Those two contracts have now expired, leaving both teams with a huge hole to fill when undertaking the task of balancing the books for this season.

While numbers on the screen may not mean alot to many in terms of a clubs financial viability, it becomes more alarming when put into context.

Last season it was reported by ESPN that Valencia had the 16th highest wage bill in Europe with on average, their players taking home 1.6 million euros a season.

In essence the sponsorship money last season accounted for paying half of their starting eleven.

For a club that is already 400 million in debt, mainly due to a stadium construction that is spiralling out of control, it is clear that the lack of sponsorship could hit them, and other teams in similar predicaments, hard.

It is only natural that the first place to look for in terms of recouping costs is towards the player themselves and their net worth to the club.

Both David Villa and David Silva have left the club in the past couple of years and this week saw the sale of Juan Manuel Mata to Chelsea for £23.5 million.

It is another startling divide between the have’s (Real Madrid, Barcelona and now Malaga) and the have not’s (the rest) in La Liga and can only make the gap between the two even bigger.

Once seen as a team who could potentially push Real and Barca at the top, with all the player sales a challenge is unrealistic not just this year but for years to come.

Osasuna, Real Zaragoza, Espanyol, and Rayo Vallenco also remain without sponsors.

With the average advertising demand for these clubs at one million euros it just goes to show how desperate clubs are to get some level of financial sponsorship.

The fact that, to date no offers are forthcoming, suggests the commerical side of football may not be as popular as many may think.

At least outside of the ‘big two’ that is…

One Comment

  1. ollydawes

    25 August, 2011 at 22:29

    Espanyol have signed a deal with Cancun for their new sponsor, hoping to market the club in Mexico as well as promoting the resort…taking advantage of signing Moreno and hoping to bring in Dos Santos brothers.

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