Football League Secures Sky Bet As Sponsor Two Weeks Before Start Of Season
The Football League was breathing a huge sigh of relief on Thursday night "after finally securing a sponsor barely two weeks before the start of the season," according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. Sky Bet came to the rescue of the league, "which had been left in a desperate scramble to find a backer after B&Q dramatically pulled out of negotiations three months ago." In the end, "the league exploited its relationship with Sky Sports," with whom it also agreed to a three-year extension to its TV deal. Club sources described the overall package as a £300M ($457M) contract, with the TV side said to be worth £90M ($137M) a year over three years from '15 and the immediate five-year sponsorship deal £6M ($9M) a year. However, other sources later dismissed the £300M figure as "a major exaggeration." What "was not in dispute was that although the Football League had expressions of interest from several potential sponsors after B&Q pulled out," it was unable to secure an offer anywhere near the £7M ($10M) a year npower was said to have paid until Sky Bet came to the table. While the sponsorship money may seem trivial, "every penny is vital to the survival of clubs already under severe economic pressure" (TELEGRAPH, 7/18). SKY SPORTS reported from next season, the league's flagship competition will be titled "the Sky Bet Football League," with its three divisions becoming "The Sky Bet Championship," "Sky Bet League One" and "Sky Bet League Two" (SKY SPORTS, 7/18).