SBC’s On The Ball – Going Dutch

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 looks at new plans from to level the playing field in Dutch football, as well a new betting partner for one of Italy’s top clubs.

Eredivisie big guns to spread wealth

In a bid to strengthen the overall level of Dutch top flight football, The Eredivisie’s Champions League regulars, Ajax, Feyenord and PSV have agreed to split the money they receive from competing in European competition with other Eredivisie sides.

The agreement comes after the rapid decline of the Dutch national team, since the departure of Louis Van Gaal, the side has failed to qualify for two consecutive major tournaments.

An additional factor in spreading wealth amongst the top flight, comes as the league closes in on an agreement to ban artificial pitches, something that’s been lobbied for extensively by the big three.

Napoli unveils new regional betting partner 

SSC Napoli has announced a new regional partnership with betting brand KTO as its Betting Partner for LATAM and Africa territories. 

Confirmation of the partnership comes as KTO has outlined its ambition to make an entry into two of the most up and coming regions in iGaming.

Speaking on behalf of KTO, senior marketing consultant, Michael Rasmussen emphasised: “This is a big day for KTO. The Strategic Vision of KTO goes hand in hand with what Napoli has got to offer. The Neapolitan following is huge, especially in Latin America where SSC Napoli counts over 10 million avid fans. It is therefore no coincidence that in partnering KTO together with Napoli, we have an excellent match.

“To become the regional betting partner of a top European Club with such rich history, consistently sitting at the top of the Serie A and always participating to UEFA competitions over the last 9 years, is a true reflection of what KTO is going to deliver as a Brand.”

Serena Salvione, head of international business development at SSC Napoli, added: “We are proud to welcome KTO as our first Regional Partner in LATAM and Africa. This partnership represents to our Club an important step in the development of our international commercial strategy. KTO will be an ideal partner to reach and engage with all our fans, especially in such strategic market as South America KTO.com was launched early October, with a view to introduce customers from around the World to a new exciting and mobile-based product.”

Match fixing allegations rock Belgian football

Belgian football has been rocked by accusations of match fixing and corruption, with the Brussel’s prosecution office revealing that 44 raids have taken place in the country.

A host of key figures from Belgian football are being investigated, with Anderlecht, Standard Liege and Club Brugge all involved in the allegations, which were first brought to the fore in 2017.

A statement from the federal prosecutor’s office detailed: “The judicial investigation concerns activities within the framework of a criminal organisation, money laundering and private corruption.

“The house searches of this morning are carried out, among other things, at the seat of various football clubs active in the Jupiler Pro League. Various documents and files have been seized.

“Further house searches have been carried out at the residence of committee members of football clubs, brokers in the football players market, referees, a former lawyer, an accountancy bureau, a trainer, journalists and some possible accomplices.

“A great number of persons have been deprived of their liberty and taken in for a thorough interrogation. The investigative judge will later on decide upon who should be held in custody or arrested.”

Anderlecht responded issuing the following statement: “The federal police today carried out a search of RSC Anderlecht. The club is co-operating fully with the investigation and will make no further comments.”

Brugge chairman Bart Verhaeghe, emphasised to VTM Nieuws: “Club Brugge will give full co-operation to the investigation and has nothing to hide.”

Snack Media to host historic PFA awards

Independent sports digital media company and fan engagement experts, Snack Media have been tasked by the Professional Footballers’ Association of England and Wales (PFA) to launch the PFA Fans’ Women Player of the Month Awards. 

It is the first time in their 111-year history the players’ union has held a monthly award for female footballers and follows the success of the regular PFA Bristol Street Motors Fans’ Player of the Month Awards, which recognise the best male footballers across the country’s top four divisions each month.

Speaking about the newly-introduced PFA Fans’ Women Player of the Month Awards, and the decision to use Snack Media to run them PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor, stated: “There was no question about introducing a voting category for the women’s game. There are so many talented footballers in the FA WSL and they deserve to be recognised each month for their on-field achievements. Snack Media has been so influential in helping us boost prestige, awareness and engagement in the PFA Bristol Street Motors Fans’ Player of the Month Award that we felt completely confident of asking them to add to their already great service and run this latest addition to the Awards”

Niall Coen, Founder and CEO of Snack Media, also commented: “When we were given the opportunity to help raise the profile of women’s football in this country by Gordon Taylor and the PFA team we jumped at the chance. It’s fantastic to see the introduction of this Award and we see it as a positive step for recognition of the excellent talent in the women’s game.

As The PFA’s media partner and fan engagement experts, we understand how football fans think and behave. By using video highlights, our expert panelists and our voting tools to help fans select the best player each month we are sure that the FA WSL Fans’ Player of the Month Award will be a huge success.”