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When Shirt Sponsors Go Bust

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Oct/01/2008
West Ham

"Considering the strife of certain top-flight sponsors, have there been any instances of a sponsor leaving a club in the lurch with disastrous consequences?" wondered Mike Hulse, a week or two ago.

The Guardian Newspaper published a report Wednesday discussing the financial impact of losing a team shirt sponsor.

XL's demise has caused West Ham some trouble and strife, with the possibility of a £30m payout over the Carlos Tevez affair compounding the financial implications of the travel company's collapse. The Hammers, though, are not alone. In fact, they're in rather good company.

British leisure tour (and airline) operator XL Leisure shut down, stranding about 85,000 people around the world last week (about 10,000 people were flying their airline, XL Airways). Now they've left West Ham stranded as well it seems.

Real Madrid lost their sponsor BenQ after the company went bankrupt during the 2006/07 season, just over a year into a five-year deal, The Guardian points out. They immediately signed a €60m deal with gambling company Bwin at the end of the season and Bwin will probably be in business for a very long time.

Parma, Cup Winners' Cup winners in 1993, Uefa Cup winners in 1995 and 1999, faced financial ruin after the Parmalat scandal broke in Italy. The ruin of the Tanzi family and of the club led to a player exodus, with Alberto Gilardino among those leaving, and the side went from top-half contender to a relegation battler, a fight that they finally lost last season, according to the Guardian.

Paddy Power has released odds on the next shirt sponsors to go bust with Man City's Thomas Cook were the 9-4 favorites to go bust.

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Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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