July 26, 1979
Liverpool have sold English soccer short by trading their influential name to sponsorship for a meagre £50,000, say marketing experts. Though their deal to put the brand name Hitachi on their shirts has sent the rest of football seeking similar revenue, the size of the fee will be a millstone.
Peter Worth, an executive of the Mark McCormack organisation, International Financial Management – they’re the people who get big money for sports superstars – told me last night: –
“Liverpool have sold themselves short. I would have thought they could have expected a deal worth £200,000.
“The figure of £50,000 is what I would have expected clubs like Middlesbrough and Q.P.R. to get. The top 10 clubs should be in a much higher bracket.
“Soccer is the national game. The amount of money from sponsorship could be incalculable if the authorities would only realise the magnitude they have to sell.”
Nigel Granfield, from a leading London advertising and marketing company, went even further when he told me: “Liverpool are totally undervaluing themselves.
“I would have thought that, even without television, a total package deal could be worth as much as £1 million. Liverpool earned Hitachi £50,000 of advertising by what appeared in the media yesterday.
“Their faces should be as red as their shirts. By accepting such a small figure Liverpool have undoubtedly made it harder for smaller clubs to reach a good deal.”
But the clubs were clamouring yesterday to follow the Anfield lead. Tottenham are notorious for traditionalism, but chairman Sydney Wale said: “I have seen this form of advertising on the Continent and I’m not averse to it. I don’t think it offends anybody and as a source of revenue, it can be of extreme value.”
Crystal Palace chairman Ray Bloye added: “Liverpool have led the way in Soccer in so many areas and when a club that is as respected as they are makes a move of this nature, others will naturally follow.”
Clubs lower down the professional scale were also sharing the excitement. Mike Cosway, secretary and commercial manager of Aldershot said: “I just wish we had Liverpool’s name to sell.
“For clubs like ours I feel the target must be on a more local, rather than national, or international, basis. But it is a move that everyone will try to follow.”
(Source: Daily Express: July 26, 1979)