Real value of both elements of the

Real football fans denounce stadium rights deals as the fans
feel it is a step closer in the crass commercialisation of Football. Approximately,
50 years ago most of the Football stadiums and arenas were named after a
location or an important person, but now because so much money has been put
into the Premier League, most stadiums are being named after big companies for
revenue. In 1997, the first stadium sponsor was a frozen chips firm and the
first footballing ground to be named after its sponsors were Scarborough’s
stadium, and it was named after the frozen chips company McCain’s, and it was
while The Wanderers new ground was named the Reebok Stadium in 1997 when it
opened. In 2004, Arsenal struck a deal with Emirates Airlines and this deal was
worth £100million for 15 years for the naming rights of the stadium and eight
years for the kit. “The combined value of both elements of the sponsorship is
by far the biggest deal ever undertaken in English football”. This quote from
Arsenal demonstrates how things in Football has changed and it is mostly about
money. Furthermore, this deal was massive as other companies started doing
deals with other clubs as it meant that the companies gained more exposure and
customers.  In 2016 Arsenal signed a
contract in 2016 until 2021 and will be extended until 2028, with the naming
rights and the sponsorship deal adding to a total of £30 million a year.

So, do you remember the days when football supporters didn’t
know who their owner of the club was? Well, now we are living in a time where
supporters know their club owner and have practically become as big as news as
the actual players and managers. As the years have gone by money has become
critical for Football club’s success and this is when the owners come into
place.

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Teams like Newcastle, Everton, Blackburn, Aston Villa, and
Sunderland have had huge success with major trophies in the past, but since so
much money has been pumped into clubs by owners and other deals, teams like
this have not been getting the same type of success as they use to have. The
likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have been gaining more
success as they have richer owners who are willing to put money into the club
to buy world-class players.

Ownership deals do not always have its benefits as a
word-class team like Arsenal have problems with their owners as it is
considerably different from English Football clubs. It is owned by a parent
company, which have a few shares. The shareholder with the most shares is Stan
Kroenke who owns 67.05% and his rival Alisher Usmanov who owns 30.04%. Even
though Usmanov owns a good amount, he still has no seat on the board and is
unable to influence any changes in the club. Usmanov made a £1billion bid to
buy out Stan Kroenke in May but there was no response. Stan Kroenke manipulates
loyal fans for money as he makes broken promises to the fans so that they will
spend money on the club by buying tickets and buying Arsenal shirts. “they have
increased revenues by a huge amount. If I was a fan of that club, I would sit
there and go, ‘Wow.'” This quote from Arsenal’s major shareholder demonstrates
the mindset of what Football means to him. It is not about the love of the club
it’s about how much money he gets out of it and this is an example of how the
business in Football has disfigured the values and traditions in Corinthian
sport.

Currently, transfer fees have risen over the roof as clubs
in the higher division must pay millions to sign the players that they need.

The first ever three figure transfer fee was £100 and was in
1893 for Willie Groves and paid by Aston Villa, and in 1904 there was the first
ever four-figure transfer fee for Alf Common who joined Middlesbrough from
Sunderland. Furthermore, Trevor Francis is regarded as Britain’s first one-million-pound
player including tax. Then in 1928, Arsenal paid £10,000 for David Jack who
originally played for Bolton Wanderers. Transfer fees just started rising as Manchester
United paid Newcastle United seven million pounds for Andy Cole, then Alan
Shearer commanding an outstanding fee worth £15,000,000 in 1996. Few years down
the line there was the first £30,000,000 deal for Rio Ferdinand to Manchester
United in 2002.  Since then, the transfer
fee for players has rocketed sky high in not only English Football but in other
countries as well. In 2017 PSG bought Neymar the world’s most expensive player
for £200million and in 2018 Barcelona completed a signing of £142million of
former Liverpool player Coutinho, would you say transfer fees for players have
gone out of hand?

 

Footballers are now not seen as just regular athletes, they are
celebrities, role models, and targets for companies who want to promote their
brands. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo endorsement deals are worth £35million
and his salary is around £45million and he is currently the richest athlete in
the world. The companies with endorsement contracts with Ronaldo are Konami,
Clear, Nike, CR7 and Herbalife. Ronaldo has promoted all these brands via media
outlets and altogether the companies got $176million because of his promotion,
and the player right behind him as the second richest footballer is Messi who
earns $53M which is his salary and with also form endorsement deals he earns
$27m with his biggest endorsement deal being with the company Adidas.

Football has changed dramatically since 1961 when players
use to earn £20 a week. Football is now business nowadays as most players move
to teams for money and owners use Football clubs as a way of generating more
income by increasing ticket prices every year and using different techniques to
bring money into clubs. Real supporters of the club are what make Football what
it really is, as fans are being more and more alienated out of Football. There
have been many arguments as to why it’s a benefit that money is being pumped
into Football. Hudson (2001) said that “in many ways, this influx of additional
money into the game has improved football considerably”.

In conclusion, it does not seem that things are going to be
getting better as we have business tycoons running football clubs and making clubs
making themselves into adverts for sponsorship deals. There are many factors as
to why there has been so much money put into football. For example, endorsement
deals, ticket prices, TV deal, ownership deals and so much more. The value of a
real football athlete playing for their club they love is not there anymore as
they go to the team with the most money.

 

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