Barclays is taking its long-running association with the Premier League into extra-time by finalising a £31.5m deal that will reinforce the enduring commercial appeal of English football’s top flight.
Sky News has learnt that the UK-based lender has agreed a further three-year tie-up with the Premier League to extend one of the longest-running alliances in elite British sport.
The deal, which is due to be voted on at a meeting of the Premier League’s 20 clubs on Thursday, will represent a roughly 15% premium to the value of Barclays’ existing £9.25m-a-year sponsorship.
If approved by the clubs, it will see Barclays’ link to the league running until the end of the 2021-22 season.
The deal has been struck two years after the bank ended a long-standing association as the Premier League’s title sponsor, with a number of brands such as Nike, Cadbury and – from January – Coca-Cola having roughly equivalent sponsorship rights.
The Premier League rakes in more than £100m annually from its top-tier commercial partners, as well as billions of pounds more from domestic and overseas broadcasting rights.
The bulk of its UK rights are held by Sky News’ parent company, Sky, which is now a subsidiary of the US media group Comcast.
This week, it announced that Susanna Dinnage, a senior executive at the US media group Discovery Inc, would become its new chief executive, with its veteran boss Richard Scudamore retiring as executive chairman in the new year.
Ms Dinnage beat rivals Tim Davie, who runs BBC Studios, and Tom Betts, ITV’s strategy director, to land the top job at the world’s richest domestic football competition.
During Mr Scudamore’s two decades at the helm, the Premier League has seen broadcasting and other commercial revenues soar as some of the world’s best players have flocked to England, attracted by the prospect of wages fuelled by bumper TV rights deals.
Revenues have risen more than 40-fold since 1999, when he took over, although his tenure has also been divisive on a number of key issues, including the distribution of money among the 20 Premier League clubs as well as its financial contribution to the wider English game.
Ms Dinnage’s in-tray will be complicated by the reported threat of a breakaway European super league, which would potentially include Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
While there are no major broadcasting deals to negotiate for some time, the next round of rights contracts will come amid a shifting media landscape in which internet giants are increasingly competing with more established TV companies.
This year’s auction of the rights to show 200 matches for three years from next season saw Amazon gatecrash the existing duopoly of Sky and BT by acquiring a limited package of matches.
Barclays and the Premier League declined to comment.
(c) Sky News 2018: Barclays banks on £31m extra time for Premier League backing