Today, EPL club Liverpool announced a four-year, US$132.4M shirt sponsorship deal with London-based int’l bank Standard Chartered. The London Times said that it equals the most lucrative partnership in football history.
It’s funny to think that it was historically England who was arguably the most resistant to the commercialization of football – look how far they have come.
To add insult to injury though, Liverpool co-Owner George Gillett who has expressed no immediate interest in an ownership change did admit that he “could be willing to sell the club ‘if someone gets beamed in who’s got bags of money.'”
I just think this whole exchange is perfectly emblematic of the historical tension between money and football. Although, for the very blunt Geroge Gillett, there does not seem to be much of a tension, he would have no problem selling the property if the price were right.
I guess the tension lies in the eye of the beholder; as a sports enthusiast as well as purist, this shameless and unappologetic quest for profit without regard for the integrity of the team, the community, or its fans is upsetting, to say the least.
If the England of the first half of 20th Century could see what it has become, i feel confident that it would be ashamed of itself. (at least i hope so).
— Stephanie Decker