Arsenal's £100M Sponsorship Deal With Emirates No Longer Looks Like a Good Deal

Last Updated Jul 15, 2009 12:59 PM EDT

Arsenal F.C.'s sponsorship pact with airline Emirates once looked like a good deal for the club: The Gunners received £100 million for a 15-year lead sponsorship contract in 2004. But five years in, that deal looks less like a lottery win and more like a millstone. Arsenal receives far less for its sponsorship rights than comparable clubs Manchester United, Chelsea F.C. or Liverpool F.C. At the same time, a BBC report indicates the club is crippled with debt. It owes a total of £416 million, according to The Guardian; and has "£242m of separate debt" on the construction of its stadium, according to the BBC.

But the Emirates sponsorship breaks down to just £6.7 million a year over the course of the deal. Manchester United just signed a deal with Aon worth £20 million a year; Chelsea's with Samsung is worth £10 million a year; and Liverpool gets £7.2 million from Carlsberg in a deal that is up for renegotiation soon.

Meanwhile, Arsenal's margins are thin. Its EBITDA will fall to just £35-40m in 2010, the BBC reported. And the club has trouble raising cash to buy players -- the crucial expense on which all revenues depend.

The club recently rejected the idea of selling stock to its fans to raise £150 million; perhaps it is time examine the Emirates contract for loopholes that will allow the club to negotiate anew?
  • A selected list of football sponsorship deals:
  • £100 million Arsenal's 15-year deal with Emirates
  • £80 million The four-year deal Manchester United signed with Aon takes effect next summer
  • £75 million Juventus have a five-year contract with Tamoil, the international oil company
  • £68 million Bayern Munich's four-year deal with T-Home
  • £50 million Chelsea signed a five-year contract with Samsung in 2005
  • £38 million Real Madrid's three-year deal with, the Austria-based online gaming company
  • £7.2 million Liverpool's annual fee from Carlsberg expires in 2010
BNET's previous coverage of football advertising:



Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App