Football, or soccer as the Americans call it, especially in England is the second most important thing after family in life; it is like a religion. Europeans follow it closely because it is part of their lifestyle. But what happens when t-shirt sponsors go bankrupt? When team sponsors suffer huge financial setbacks because they hold stakes in Icelandic banks?
The financial crisis that the world has been in for some time now has reached the soccer teams as well since these teams depend on banks for sponsorships. The entire Premier League in England, for example, is sponsored by Barclays – a major bank. One might wonder where England’s national obsession is headed to? The more optimistic ones who believe that soccer will continue to thrive because, as Asif Yasin – a propriety rental firm worker says, “there are so many die-hards who would rather do without food and electricity before giving up their football tickets.” However, it is not as simple. What many people do not realize is that English clubs are in a huge debt. David Triesman, the chairman of the Football Association, estimated that English clubs owe more than $5.4 billion dollars.
One of the biggest teams in England, Manchester United, is sponsored by an insurance giant AIG that was just rescued by the U.S. bailout. Furthermore, West Ham United players were forced to play in shirts with a white patch with the player’s number since the team’s t-shirt sponsor went bankrupt. Many wonder what is going to happen to Newcastle United, which is sponsored by the nationalized Northern Rock bank.
As the financial crisis remains unresolved, British soccer teams and fans are starting to feel it as well. Read the full article here: With Banks as Main Sponsors, Soccer Teams Could Feel Crisis.