Will Liverpool end sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered?

Aug 7, 2012
Jonathan Harwood

American owners and fans may not want to be associated with a 'rogue institution'

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COULD the Standard Chartered scandal in the US have implications for Liverpool FC, the once-dominant Premier League club owned by Americans and sponsored by the bank?
The bank has been labelled a "rogue institution" by US regulators and accused of breaking financial sanctions against Iran and conspiring to launder at least $250bn over almost a decade. It could potentially have its US banking licence revoked if the charges are proven, and its value on the London stock exchange plummeted on Tuesday morning.
That is not good news for Liverpool, which is on the cusp of a new era under manager Brendan Rodgers. There was a mood of optimism at Anfield after his arrival, but the lack of new signings has worried fans, and fears that the club may actually offload some of its big stars this summer, including Daniel Agger (pictured) and Pepe Reina, have contributed to an air of trepidation.
The last thing the club needs now is a political crisis surrounding its chief sponsor, which could put one of its main revenue streams in danger.
Standard Chartered is believed to pay around £20m a year for its logo to appear on the Liverpool shirt. It is one of the most lucrative deals in the Premier League and is set to run until the end of the 2013/14 season.
The bank claims a similar heritage to the club, and on its website speaks proudly of "over 100 years of history, strong values and a determination to give back to the local community".
The club said it had no comment to make on the accusations when contacted by The Week. But Liverpool fans are fiercely proud of Liverpool's heritage and its political identity. They are unlikely to take kindly to it being closely linked to a scandal-ridden bank during a time of recession and hardship on Merseyside.
Fenway Sports Group [FSG], the American company run by John W Henry that owns Liverpool, has been put in a difficult situation.
US-based website EPL Talk noted last week, even before the scandal broke, that goodwill towards FSG was running low. "To many, the club lacked clear leadership off the field last season and the owners appeared to be missing in action as the club swung from one crisis to another," it said.
When FSG representatives missed the Hillsborough anniversary because the baseball season was starting in the US, it did not go down well with fans. "They need to take heed of how such gestures are interpreted within a city like Liverpool," noted the website. This Standard Chartered situation could prove equally sensitive.
A supporters group called Spirit of Shankly wrote to FSG last month, before the bank crisis, and warned: "Confusion and chaos seems to reign and no one is coming out of this with much credit, particularly the football club's image and brand."
Any fallout from the allegations against SCB could have serious implications for Liverpool's global reputation, especially in north America. While Standard Chartered has encouraged Liverpool to build its Asian fanbase, the club's American owners have been keen to raise the club's profile in the US.
This year the club's pre-season tour visited Toronto, Boston and Baltimore. US soccer fans are unlikely to take to a club that has a bank accused of funding Iran plastered over its shirts.
As one tweeter, Ben Allain from Conneticut, posted today: "John Henry gives money to Liverpool. They give money to SCB. SCB gives money to Iran. Iran gives money to terrorists. #JohnHenryIsATerrorist." He may have misunderstood the niceties of sponsorship but the message was clear. Other tweeters mocked Liverpool and said that the club's brand was in danger.
Then there is the issue of how Liverpool's other sponsors will view SCB's relationships with Liverpool. The club recently signed another deal with all-American car manufacturer Chevrolet, for example. How will they feel about the Standard Chartered connection?

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i hope that liverpool start telling them how to run there company as they had enough to say about suarez

It's a pretty rubbish deal for Liverpool FC if the terms of the sponsorship requires them to give money to Standard Chartered Bank. So rest easy Ben Allain from Conneticut.

Oh boy here comes more dirt from the media so they can sell more trouble to a dying world.

Chevrolet can't talk can they. I mean hours after signing up to a sponsorship deal with Liverpool they sign up to one with Man Utd as well. Great brand identity work there.

I have to smile rather ironically at this. When H&G were selling I stressed that the present owners were NOT suitable custodians of LFC. This is becoming more and more evident with each passing month. There really was no way to go by being the secondary and junior arm of a company that greatly favours baseball over all others. It is simply a nearing of time that FSG sells LFC for whatever profit it can make. We are struggling along with very little help from the owners in all marketing areas. What money we spend is having to be supplied by our sales and any profits are apparently being used to re-pay Henry for lifting the debt in the first place. Liverpool are struggling along using their own devices as the RedSox side thrives with dollar inputs! FSG are determined that any money for LFC will come from LFC alone as they show little interest except from using them as a tool for their world-wide advertising.
We are far far from being out of the woods !

Dear the Week,

Do not link Spirit Of Shankly nor any Liverpool FC article with a hyperlink to a Sun article. Perhaps you should also realise what that newspaper means to us before criticising FSG and Standard Chartered.

Moronic and ill thought through on your behalf.


That link was added in error - it has been replaced by one to SoS...

"John Henry gives money to Liverpool. They give money to SCB. SCB gives money to Iran. Iran gives money to terrorists. #JohnHenryIsATerrorist."

Moron should learn more about sponsers before he brands someone a terrorist

FSG and Liverpool has nothing to do with this story. The transactions of SCB are not part and parcel for the Liverpool Sponsorship so you morons shpuld shut up. This is the FA and MANCS work.

Chevrolets owners General Motors are being taken to court by SAAB as well!

those morons have too good a logic... it's like cows eat grass... we eat cows.. and so we eat grass...

Here we go again.

Whilst there is no doubt the police were in part to blame, and those crushed to death were not, when is the precious scouse nation going to take a look at itself and say "yeah, we had a lot of scallies following our team, and they had a big part in this".

The worst thing the Sun ever did with their crass headline was make it impossible for anyone else to make legitimate criticism of what was a sizeable minority of Liverpool 'fans', behaving badly week in week out.

We're not allowed to take issue with the Scouse media mafia then, boss?

Will having to finish with Standard Chartered affect l the clothing that has been sold. I did not buy some gear,although I was going to but not now,. Banks are in the news, bad news, we must not associate with them.I am so angry.I have supported Liverpoolfc since 1966 .

Recently bought the new shirt, ashamed to wear it now. No chance of a refund I guess. Hate how it's always about money. Would love to see something worthwhile in big letters on the front, like the whole Barca/Unicef thing. Something that would help the JF96 cause for instance, a touch of class that would make me even more proud to wear the shirt. A bank? Ashamed. Never going to happen, I know.