SBC’s On The Ball – MK Dons, Ajax and FIFA’s Club World Cup proposals

From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, SBC has you covered. This edition takes a look at a unique new partner for West Ham, as well as a fresh obstacle for FIFA.

FIFA halts World Cup plans amid UEFA backlash

Fifa president, Gianni Infantino’s plans for a new Club World Cup have been met with widespread discontent and animosity from UEFA, claiming the tournament would act as a direct competition to the Champions League.

The potential tournament, which would feature top teams from the English Premier League and around Europe, was set to considered at FIFA’s Council meeting, however it’s been widely reported that the potential vote has been pushed back, with UEFA members threatening a walkout over the situation.

Infantino had previously stated the tournament was proposed to go ahead every four years, with the FIFA President revealing he’d had investors that were willing to part with $12bn for the tournament, a confidentiality agreement halted Infantino when it came to revealing the touted investor.

MK Dons backs Responsible Gambling Week

MK Dons has announced the club’s support for Responsible Gambling Week, an industry-wide campaign to trigger a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly.

#RGWeek18 will take place from November 1st to 7th under the slogan ‘Let’s Talk about Responsible Gambling’ and this marks the first year that EFL clubs are participating.

The event is being organised by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG), which through its member trade associations, encompasses all sectors of the gambling industry: online, amusement arcades, bingo clubs, bookmakers and casinos.

John Hagan, Chairman of the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, commented: “We’re delighted that MK Dons will be supporting Responsible Gambling Week.

“As an industry we are dedicated, year-round to promoting responsible gambling, but what makes Responsible Gambling Week special is the opportunity for gambling operators from every sector to unite behind the same message and engage in a national conversation about what it means to gamble responsibly. The engagement and support of football clubs is enormously helpful in highlighting the week.”

Ajax extends esports commitment 

Ajax has strengthened its commitment to esports, with Ajax eSports announcing the renewal of its partnership with Ziggo and the signing of a new three year contract for the teams FIFA player Dani Hagebeuk.

Menno Geelen, commercial director of Ajax, commented on the partnership extension: “Ziggo, as headpartner of Ajax, was the first to embrace Ajax eSports within the club. Thereby, we were able to grow with our virtual domain. This FIFA 19-season we want to organise more activities for our fans, together with Ziggo. The weekly Ziggo eBattles are a good example of that.’

Speaking about the extension of both Ziggo and Hagebeuk, Ajax eSports added: “We are working on a long-term relationship with our eSporters, in which we want to offer the best circumstances to perform, like a studio at home and personal coaches. We are happy to have Dani on board the next 3 years.”

Hammers unveil new partnership

English Premier League side, West Ham United has announced Paul Robinson Solicitors as the club’s first official Legal Partner.

Issuing the news, the London club revealed that Paul Robinson Solicitors is the ideal partner to support the Hammers in a variety of ways throughout the season. These include a number of exciting community and locally-led activities designed to engage West Ham fans in the local areas.

Karim Virani, Digital and Commercial Director at West Ham United, stated: “I am delighted to welcome Paul Robinson Solicitors as our first Official Legal Partner. With their Essex heritage as well as their expansion into Stratford, partnering with such a prominent local business is extremely exciting for the club. We look forward to welcoming them to the West Ham family and working together to bring their services to life in the coming months.”

Sam Robinson, Managing Partner at Paul Robinson, detailed: “We pride ourselves on working closely with the community, which includes supporting numerous local sports clubs and causes. With our new office opening in Stratford we are delighted and excited to have partnered with West Ham. We look forward to uniting with the fans of the club in support of West Ham and the local area.”