Finance in football is one of the hottest topics in the sporting world right now following the news of Everton’s Financial Fair Play punishment in October, which saw the Merseysiders lose 10 points for a breach in regulations. The Toffees sunk into the relegation zone, five points adrift of 17th-placed Luton after what looked to be a promising start for Sean Dyche’s men.
Whilst the poor nature of the teams at the bottom of the Premier League means they should still survive, it was a hammer blow out of the blue for the Goodison Park-based club. Whilst the Blues have appealed the decision, it shows that the authorities are looking to clamp down on clubs who overspend their means.
Everton’s deduction came after the club exceeded the allowed annual loss of £105 million for a financial year with a whopping loss of £372 million over a three-year period. Next on the chopping block are Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea, with the authorities pouring their way through the account books of all three clubs.
Some experts in the field suggest that the Citizens could face expulsion from the league after collecting more than 100 FFP breaches. So perhaps it is understandable why a recent report suggests the Hammers will be a little cash-strapped in the January window as they keep a close eye on proceedings amongst the league, as a points deduction would be catastrophic for David Moyes’ men.
Whilst it is unlikely the Irons will be in breach of any regulations thanks in no small part to the cool £100 million profit made on Declan Rice in the summer, any additional financial gains will certainly not be turned away. One way clubs make money is through their Stadium, and as it is well documented, the Hammers aren’t big cash receivers from the London Stadium. Indeed, their only revenue stream is ticket sales and a tiny cut of food and drink sales.
However, that could all be about to change with reports suggesting German insurance giant Allianz is set to add to their football portfolio by buying the naming rights of the London Stadium. The company is already heavily involved in Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Nice, to name just three, and wants to make the London Stadium their flagship British Stadium.
Whilst the deal still needs to be completed, early indications suggest that they would need to invest more than four million pounds a year to ensure West Ham receives a penny from the deal. Negotiations are ongoing, and the Hammers will be heavily involved in those talks to ensure they receive a cut in the deal. That cut would further ease those FFP fears for David Sullivan and the West Ham board, as any additional funds that can be added to the books at the end of the year are crucial to aid the club’s financial power.
Furthermore, should the club create a good brand relationship, the club could further benefit from a potential club sponsorship as well as the Stadium naming rights being mooted among the media. It has been well documented that betting sponsors need to be removed from clubs in England from the 2025/26 season.
So, with that in mind, the Hammers will be keen to get a brand like Allianz on board to help rebrand the club with a company of high stature and respect in the business world. The question is, what name will Allianz select when they get their hands on the Stadium? They have the rather classy sounding Allianz Riviera in Nice, the Allianz Field in Minnesota, and the famous Allianz Arena in Munich. Perhaps the Allianz Bowl will suit the Hammers’ home turf?
It is, of course, essential to get the stadium name right; we have had some infamous flops in English Football – with the likes of The Sports Direct Arena in Newcastle after their much-loved (cough) owner Mike Ashley flagship company, which perhaps understandably went down like a lead balloon in Tyneside. My personal favourite in England, though, has to be the WHAM Stadium in Accrington after the club signed a three-year deal with What More UK.
Whatever the Stadium is called, though, the club will be grateful for any additional cash that comes their way. With FFP now seemingly being taken seriously after years of everyone questioning the point of it – the Hammers could do with all the help they can get.
So, a trip to the Allianz Bowl awaits the Hammers faithful as the club looks to the future with a degree of positivity as we rub shoulders with the big boys in Europe that share their stadium name with us.