Liverpool Football Club is being sued over a £1million commission the club is alleged to owe over its £15million sponsorship deal with BetVictor.
UK.- Sports sponsorship firm Winlink is suing Premier League leader Liverpool Football Club, claiming it is owed £1.1million in commission for the club’s kit sponsorship deal with BetVictor.
Winlink claims one of its senior executives made the initial introduction between club officials and BetVictor in 2013 that led to the three-season sponsorship deal worth £5million a year from 2016/17 to 2018/19.
Winlink said it was “heavily engaged over a number of years in securing a successful introduction… and in assisting to bring about a sponsorship deal.”
Liverpool argues that Winlink’s introduction did not lead to the deal, and that Rafaella Valentino, the club’s head of global partnership sales since late 2015, was a friend of BetVictor CEO Andreas Meinrad, and that they negotiated the deal personally.
Robert Anderson QC for Liverpool said Winlink was not entitled to commission “because the introductions were made two-and-a-half years before the 2016 deal.”
He said the club’s agreement with Winlink did not grant “the unlimited right to commission on every deal that Liverpool ever does with BetVictor.”
But Winlink’s barrister, Andrew Sutcliffe QC, said the company had “spent significant time and effort in building the relationship between Liverpool and BetVictor.”
He said Winlink and sister company Bettor specialised in “identifying and introducing betting companies to sports rights holders” and had earned commissions for introducing bookmakers to many clubs, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus.
He argued that the only two conditions needed for Winlink to earn its commission were that it introduced Liverpool to decision makers at BetVictor and that the bookmaker then sponsored the club.
The trial is scheduled to last five days, with a judgment not expected until a later date.
In April, BetVictor ended its sponsorship of non-league football in England.