Betting partnerships have become big business for football clubs, with multi-million pound deals for teams to promote certain brands.
One such deal for the biggest club around however seems to have turned sour as Manchester United have filed a lawsuit to recover unpaid money from their former global partnership with betting company MoPlay.
Watford FC who had a sleeve sponsorship deal with MoPlay last term are also looking to recover money owed to them.
United first announced their deal with the company, owned by Addison Global Limited, back in August of 2018 which was said to be worth over £12 million ($15 million). For that, MoPlay would use the Premier League club’s high profile to reach a huge audience over various media channels.
We’re delighted to announce @MoPlay as our official betting partner.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 6, 2018
At the time, the Red Devil’s group managing director Richard Arnold stated:
“MoPlay are an innovative and dynamic company looking to further enhance our fans’ gaming experience. They are an exciting new brand that aims to modernise and improve the betting industry and we are delighted to be part of this journey.”
MoPlay followed up with a shirt sleeve sponsorship deal with United’s fellow Premier League side Watford for the 2018/19 season. In January this year they also added German Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin to their list of partners in a further multi-year deal worth around €1 million per season.
Fast forward to the 20th September 2019 and Manchester United are seeking damages in excess of $11 million from Georgia based company Select Management Resources, a US payday lender who guaranteed the payments to the club from Addison Global and MoPlay. This followed the termination of their deal after missed payments reportedly of around £1 million each in February and May of 2019.
Watford have also lost out with unpaid monies totalling over £1.5 million which the Hornets too will look to recoup.
Where Next for United, Watford and MoPlay?
As a global commercial powerhouse, Manchester United wasted no time in securing a new betting partnership, this time with Asian betting company Yabo Sports.
They become the latest in a line of associations which include BWin and Marathon Bet as well as the now defunct relationship with MoPlay.
Watford also have themselves a new sponsor, with Sportsbet.io becoming their primary shirt sponsor for the 2019/20 season.
And what about MoPlay? They are continuing as normal, however, the question how long for will be asked with such huge sums of money owed. Their reputation will no doubt be dented after falling foul of two members of world’s most watched football league.