Sponsorship scramble looming over La Liga clubs after proposal on betting companies

Sponsorship scramble looming over La Liga clubs after proposal on betting companies

Madrid, Sep 1 (IANS) Spanish clubs could face a scramble for getting new sponsorship deals together before October this year with the government looking to push through extensive new restrictions on gambling companies.

Spanish Minister for Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon said that clubs will have to rethink the sponsorship deals they have with betting companies and their current dealings are “reckless.”

“In the decree that will be approved in October we are going to prohibit that football clubs carry bookmakers on their shirts; it is reckless the clubs that are signing deals for two or three years and will have to correct it. They are making mistakes and they will have to correct it,” Garzon told Spanish free-to-air (FTA) network La Sexta.

Clubs could lose as much as 80 million Euros from altering their deals with bookmakers, according to La Liga. While they will be able to maintain some type of relationship, contracts could be worth just 30 per cent of their current value.

The crackdown will be a cause for concern for Spain’s top flight because all clubs, barring La Liga, Spanish soccer’s top flight, considering all clubs, barring Real Sociedad, Real Valladolid and Villareal, have commercial ties with a gambling firm.

According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, Garzon’s proposal looks to prohibit using the ‘name brand or trade name of a betting operator to identify a sports facility or entertainment facility’.

Additionally, no sponsorship activities may be carried out that involve substituting or adding to the name of a team or sports competition or of any other entity outside the sector of gambling and betting, the name or commercial name of an operator. Such a move would prohibit gambling firms taking up naming rights partnerships.

While Osasuna recently dropped their deal with Kirolbet and thus changed their shirt sponsors, Valencia, Sevilla, Levante, Legan’s, Alav’s and Mallorca all have the name of a betting company on their jersies.

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