Premier League club Southampton have been ‘left with no alternative’ but to terminate their sponsorship with their agreed shirt sponsor LD Sports, with the club has been unable determine whether the company is an “appropriate and viable partner”, after numerous unsuccessful attempts.
As a result of this Southampton have agreed to a one-year deal with Coingaming Group brand Sportsbet.io. This means the company will appear on the front of the shirt for the 2020/21 season. Sportsbet.io have only agreed to a one-year deal on short notice, in contrast, LD Sports has signed a three-year deal with the top-flight club, reportedly worth £6.5 million per annum.
It has been reported that LD Sports triggered a break clause that was agreed within the deal to terminate the contract with Southampton after just one season. This was claimed that the Chinese firm was concerned over political tension between China and the UK.
Southampton was also concerned over the firm as they were unsure of the products the company was offering, in addition to the firm not yet being launched.
Shirt sales at the club have been immediately halted as a result of the change in branding while the situation is being resolved.
A statement made my Southampton said: “The club has also taken the difficult decision to temporarily halt all sales of home, away and third kits. Fans who have already purchased a 20-21 home, away or third shirt with LD Sports on the front are kindly asked for their patience and understanding at this time whilst the club resolves what is an extremely complex situation and sources a solution for updating their shirts.”
Chief Commercial Officer of Southampton, David Thomas explained that “Sportsbet.io has redefined the online betting space by combining cutting-edge technology with cryptocurrency expertise and a passion for offering its players with the ultimate fun, fast and fair gaming experience.
“They are fully committed to providing a safe place where people can enjoy their games responsibly and have a world-class social responsibility team in place. The club will work with Sportsbet.io and our local community to promote this important social responsibility message over the course of the upcoming year.”
On becoming the clubs new shirt sponsor, Chief Executive of Coingaming Group, Tim Heath said, “We are absolutely thrilled to announce this sponsorship deal with one of the Premier League’s most ambitious teams.
“Sportsbet.io shares the club’s desire to disrupt its industry and increase its global reach.”
Southampton has only signed a one-year deal however due to calls to increase the regulations when it comes to gambling companies sponsoring football in England. In July, a report published by a House of Lords Committee recommended that clubs in the Premier League should ban such sponsors.
Author: Bradleigh Amis