valencia

Earlier in the year, a report said English Premier League and la Liga clubs saw a surge to the tune of $130 million in earnings from shirt sponsorship. And in total, there was a rise by 20 per cent in shirt sponsorship deals with England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Netherlands accounting for 687 million Euros.

Expectedly, EPL saw the bigger share of the rise with the jump being 36 per cent on a year-on-year basis. The sponsorship in England rose to 213 million Euros which included Manchester United’s highest sponsorship to date.

La Liga followed right behind with a rise by 30 per cent to 113 million Euros with Barcelona’s new deal with Qatar Airways leading the pack. The Catalans were replacing their supposed free deal with UNICEF thus rubbishing their claims of being more than a club with sponsor-free shirts.

However, it also came to light that there were/are some clubs in Spain who don’t have a sponsor including 2001-02 and 2003-04 league champions Valencia. In fact, in 2011, Valencia solved that no sponsor dilemma by putting up their Twitter handle on the shirt!

The list goes: Valencia, Sevilla, Malaga, Espanyol, Rayo Vallecano, Granada, Real Betis.

Up until a few years ago, Atletico Madrid had the same problem before they got sponsorship from Azerbaijan.

It’s tough to pinpoint why they’re sponsorless. If it were to be guessed, the options are: teams don’t get enough offers, don’t get the right valuation, teams looking for a higher valuation leading to breakdown in talks or to avoid tax.

Not all these clubs are in tattered condition financially but Rayo, Granada and Betis have their share of financial battles.

Over in England, there is no such concern. Sponsorship of Mansion Group, the owner of casino.com with Crystal Palace and Bournemouth highlights that even the small teams coming up the ladder have the financial backing of bigwigs. And with how Crystal Palace are performing under Alan Pardew, it’s money well spent.

But Javier Tebas and the LFP have to figure out how to market the league better so there are more eyeballs on Spanish football, which would result in more sponsorship.