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Sports

Laliga clubs set for financial setback as government orders termination of betting sponsorships

La Liga clubs have been told to cut ties with betting sponsors before new gambling regulation banning betting sponsorship is enforced next year.

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The Spanish government through the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzon, has addressed all 25 La Liga football clubs presidents in a letter, calling for an end to gambling sponsorships at the end of this season (2020/21).

The letter also informs Laliga clubs that their deals with betting companies will become forbidden once the new royal decree is officially in place, which is only delayed by approval by a cabinet meeting. The decree affects all sports in Spain.

READ: How Nigeria’s sports betting industry is rapidly growing among teeming youth population

The letter further stated that betting companies  sponsoring teams and athletes had “contributed to normalising a practice with serious health and social risks which need to be minimized in the field of advertising.”

READ: Antler set to invest $500,000 in startups whose solutions are curbing Coronavirus

It also said, “status as role models had led to an increase in gambling among young people aged 18-25, rising from 29% to 40% in the last four years. The amount of money spent by young people on gambling, meanwhile, had risen by 13% annually.”

READ: Sport betting companies enrich themselves at the expense poor customers – Tayo Oyedeji

Seven of the 20 top-flight Laliga teams have shirt sponsorship deals with betting companies. With the likes of Granada (Winamax), Levante (Betway), Real Betis (Betway), Sevilla (MarathonBet), Valencia (Bwin) amongst the rest.

READ: Akin Alabi shows off multi-million naira Nairabet office building

Laliga president, Javier Tebas, has stated that teams would lose up to €90million if they are obliged to stop betting deals. He also made a request to the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzon, to give teams a period of up to three years to help them adapt to the changes. But the request was rejected.

READ: Top Football clubs are now using blockchain

With clubs already facing serious financial difficulties due to the impact of the Covid-19, this new decree would be a huge blow and setback for the revenues of Laliga teams. According to reports, the vast majority of teams are very angry with this decision made by the government.

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Cryptocurrency

Ex-Real Madrid Striker, David Barral becomes first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin

Former Real Madrid Striker, David Barral has become the first-ever footballer to be bought with Bitcoin.

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Former Real Madrid striker, David Barral, makes transfer history as he became the first-ever professional player to be bought solely with virtual currency, Bitcoin.

Spanish third division side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, simply known as Inter Madrid, has officially signed the 37-year-old after teaming up with their new sponsors, Criptan that deals in cryptocurrency, The SUN reports.

Inter Madrid who are part of DUX gaming, eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Real Madrid star, Thibaut Courtois, is yet to disclose the total value of the deal.

READ: Football: AC Milan announces loss of €195million

The Segunda Division B club went to Twitter to welcome their new signing and thank their sponsor.

“David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club! He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible,” the club tweeted.

The 37-year-old, who made over 50 appearances playing in the Real Madrid reserve side, expressed his delight at his latest move. Barral has also played for Spanish La Liga clubs Sporting Gijon, Levante, and Racing Santander.

“Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.

READ: Real Madrid leapfrogs others to emerge the world’s most valuable football club

What you should know

  • A similar deal was when a Harunustaspor, Turkish amateur side, paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) for Omer Faruk Kıroğlu in 2018.
  • Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin.
  • Similarly, the Mark Cuban-owned Dallas Mavericks became the second NBA franchise to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for both game tickets and merchandise.

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Sports

Football: Southampton announces £76.1m loss for 2019/20 financial results

Premiere League side, Southampton FC has revealed a UK£76.1m loss in Covid-hit 2019/20 financial results.

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English Premier League club, Southampton Football Club, has reported a net loss of £76.1million for the fiscal year of 2019/20 ending in June 2020, due to the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

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Key highlights of its FY 2019/20

  • Southampton FC incorporated by St Mary’s Football Group Ltd, posted a decrease in the overall revenue down to £126.6m which represents a nosedive of £23m compared to £149.6 reported in the fiscal year of 2018/19, with the net loss before tax up from £41m.
  • As a consequence of the English Premier League ending before 30 June 2020, broadcasting revenue fell to £93.5m compared to £112.8m in 2019 – a drop of £19.3m, despite the Saints finishing 11th in the 2019/20 Premier League season (five places higher than the previous season).
  • With the suspension of the league in March 2020, until Project Restart, which led to matches played behind closed doors, matchday revenue fell to £14.5m with a £2.5m drop compared to £17.0m in 2019.
  • Project restart also coated them an additional £1.5m of net additional costs of sales and administrative expenses in order to enable the men’s first-team squad to train and conclude the 2019/20 season in a COVID-19 secure environment.
  • The Saints reported that the total 2019/20 revenue foregone as a highlight of the significant impact of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic over the financial year was £10.3m, with a further £20.9m revenue deferred into the year ended 30 June 2021.
  • However, the club said revenue would have shown up a £8.2m (5.5%) increase up to £157.8m for the 2019/20 fiscal year, had it not been lost or deferred due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
  • The transfer business was significantly impacted as the Summer 2020 transfer window did not open until July 2020, after the financial year ended.  The sales of Charlie Austin and Gallagher in the Summer 2019 window helped see a profit of £13.9m compared to £20.9m made in 2019.

READ: Manchester United: A football club or a business

What the Southampton FC MD is saying

Southampton Managing Director, Toby Steele, said:

  • “As with many companies and industries, the group is in the midst of a challenging financial environment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is reflected in the financial results for 2019/20 and necessitated the group to restructure its debt facility during June 2020. Despite these challenges, our group-wide staff have shown great resilience, facilitating a smooth return to training and matches for men’s and women’s teams across all age groups, as well as the return of fans, albeit briefly, during season 2020/21.
  • “We also have great pride in the work of the Saints Foundation, in particular the collaboration with group staff in the ‘Saints as One’ initiative during the early stages of the pandemic. The ongoing support of our fans, many of whom purchased a 2020/21 season ticket at a time when the return of football was unknown, is greatly appreciated and it is our hope to get fans back where they belong, supporting all our teams in person, in greater numbers as soon as possible.”

READ: Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour spends £760k on old FA Cup Trophy

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