Crash in sterling has hit revenue admits Halliday
THE financial implications of Brexit are hindering efforts by Champions Cup bosses to add to their stable of main sponsors, according to EPCR chairman Simon Halliday.
Halliday has mounted a robust defence of his organisation amid mounting criticism from clubs over EPCR’s inability to attract five front-line partners – a pledge made in 2014 when the Heineken Cup was abandoned in favour of a new 20-team Champions Cup.
Only Heineken and Turkish Airlines have so far signed up, leaving Premiership clubs facing a £300,000-plus black hole in budgets set against expected revenues. Halliday told The Rugby
Paper: “EPCR is totally aware that we need to build our brand and commercial strategy, but Brexit hasn’t helped because of its impact on currency – and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about that.
“Talk to anyone who trades across European markets and if you have big movements in currency it creates huge uncertainty.
“We’ve got stakeholders in 11 countries across Europe who trade in euro and sterling as well as other currencies.
“There’s been no benefit to us in sterling collapsing by 20 per cent and, while it could also go the other way, lots of companies face this problem. Also, there are sponsorships available at all sorts of levels at the moment, whether it’s the RBS Six Nations or Aviva Premiership, so it becomes quite difficult because we have three competitions across all those different countries.
“It’s not easy to marry up who’s right for you but I’m pretty confident that over the next year or two we will build our sponsorship revenue.”
Halliday claims clubs are already benefitting from increased television money as the battle for new TV rights from 2018 gets underway.
He added: “Under the TV deal that was negotiated in 2014 there was a significant increase in the financial distribution to stakeholders. We’re involved in TV renewals again now because it’s time for us to talk about the next cycle.
Problem: Simon Halliday