|Poor old Fulham. A disappointing season of mediocrity resulting in the sacking of coach Jean Tigana, and now their sponsorship deal with betting exchange Betfair.com has been terminated.|
Fulham F.C. – ‘The Cottagers’ as they are known to their fans, ‘Harrods XI’ as they are known to others (owner Al Fayed is proprietor of said London emporium) – lost out on £550,000 ($902,220) in sponsorship last season. Fulham were paid £600,000 ($984,276)up front by Betfair.com for shirt sponsorship, but could have trousered another pounds £550,000 ($902,220) had they hit performance targets.
But Fulham finished only 14th of 20 in the English Premiership, went out of the FA cup in the fifth round, and the Worthington cup in the fourth round.
betfair.com director of communications Mark Davies said: 'It was a performance-related deal and we paid about £650,000 ($106,660) in the end.
'There would have been big bonuses for finishing in the top six of the league and reaching the semi-finals of cup competitions.'
Fulham’s Premiership matches were beamed to markets in Southeast Asia last year, where soccer betting is big business.
Betfair, based in London near Fulham's now-empty Craven Cottage stadium, ended talks about a renewal after deciding a season's sponsorship was sufficient for their goals.
'It was only a one-year deal and we didn't renew it because we felt we'd got the maximum we would get from the sponsorship in a year,' Davies added.
'The return from the second year would not have merited our input. We won't be investing in another football team but have a fairly significant deal to come in another sport.'
Fulham's new sponsors are IT and technology retailer dabbs.com.