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Is Chelsea's New Sponsor Deal With Samsung Big Enough to Affect Its Debts?

Chelsea F.C. has renewed its sponsorship deal with Samsung. The value of the deal is not known. The old deal was worth £11 million a year, and Reuters reports the new pact is an improvement on the old one.

It had better be. If there's a football club on the planet that undervalues its sponsorship deals, it's Chelsea. Chelsea is one of fewer than 10 global soccer brands, and yet gives away the equivalent of dozens of hours of free TV advertising for less than $18 million every year. To give you an idea of how insignificant Samsung's old deal with Chelsea was in terms of the club's overall finances, here's a digest of the sections on Chelsea in Deloitte's annual football finance report. It's current to 2008, the last year available:

Chelsea's revenues are about £200 million a year.

With player wage costs of £172 million, Chelsea remains the highest spender by some distance, over £50 million above the next highest club, Manchester United.

Chelsea became the first club to report over £80 million gross transfer spending in one season.

Owner Roman Abramovich injected a further £123 million into Chelsea in 2007/08, to take his overall investment in the club to around £760 million in the five years under his control. Chelsea's management have stated the target is for zero cash funding from the owner in 2009/10.

With total debt to the owner in the region of three-quarters of a billion pounds, £11 million a year is barely a rounding error. Hopefully in the days to come the real number will be leaked to the press. If it isn't closer to Manchester United's £20 million a year, then it wasn't worth signing.
  • 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
  • £55 million Chelsea's new deal with Samsung is reportedly more than this five-year deal was worth 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: