So it’s goodbye to Carlsberg and hello to the Standard Chartered Bank to tune of 80 million smackeroos over four years.
The deal is symptomatic of footballs widening global appeal. Whilst Liverpool fans could pop off down their local DIY store to get Crown Paints or Currys for Hitachi or Candy goods or the local for a swift “flagon” of Carlsberg (or a tramp if you like Special Brew) there is no branch or office of the Standard Chartered Bank in Liverpool. The deal is clearly aimed at the expanding Eastern market. Christian Purslow our new Chief Executive said.
“Many branches in these countries will effectively be a shop window for Liverpool football club and a means of attracting more supporters to the cause”
Still in these troubled times financial institutions tend to be rather sniffy about who they associate with so I guess it shows at least someone thinks we are worth investing in! The deal is thought to be one of the biggest shirt deals in football and dwarfs our current one with Carlsberg and is the biggest commercial deal we’ve ever done. No doubt those negotiated it must be feeing very good about themselves. Purslow added
“We’re not interested in being second best or third best – and I think this is an example off the park where we are going to be best in class”
Well if the new regimes performance since they took over is anything to go by we don’t have a great deal to improve on. And “best in class” at what? Raising the money is one thing but what will we do with it? Hicks, Gillett and Purslow should realise that although they might get turned on and triumphant about an £80m commercial deal it’s worth, to use a little known “commercial term”, jack sh*t to the fans if it’s benefit fails to permeate to the team. If the money is put towards strengthening the squad or helping get the new stadium build off the ground then great but it should also be remembered that £80m only constitutes two years interest payment of the debt the Star Spangled Duo have generously saddled us with. Which route will they take?
Perhaps the length of the deal gives us a clue to the timetable for the stadium build? Its four years. By the time the deal has expired will we be in position to agree a joint shirt sponsorship and stadium naming deal?
I guess the more deals that are done then the more entrenched Statler and Waldorf will become at the club. It also means potential take over groups will need fork out more cash if they are to assume control. This deal should be welcomed but such is the performance of the Americans so far, and the contempt in which they held, that is will simply be used by many as another vehicle to express suspicion and discontent. For this Hicks and Gillett only have themselves to blame. They are going to have to do a lot more than this to earn hearts and minds.
Finally to the Radio Five Live presenter who said “Really?” as a reaction to part of Standard Chartered press release that said Liverpool were England’s most successful club – Yes they are dear, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!