Elstone: Deal Makes Us Stronger
CEO says Chang extension is key step forward.
Chief Executive Officer Robert Elstone says Everton's latest deal with Chang has left the Club in a stronger financial position to compete with its Barclays Premier League rivals.
The Blues announced early on Thursday that they had signed a three-year renewal with the Thai beverage giants – a link-up potentially worth over £16 million.
That figure makes it the most lucrative in the Club's history and will also extend what is already the longest current shirt sponsorship arrangement in the English top flight to 13 years.
Elstone told evertontv: "I think on a number of fronts it's an important deal to us and clearly we're delighted to be back here in Bangkok signing the contract.
"Financially, it's important to build on the deals that have gone before. Our fans will know that this year we're the beneficiaries of a massive new TV deal, and that money, clearly, is representing a bigger and bigger proportion of our total income.
"But it's the income around that that makes the difference and can give us a competitive advantage over our rivals. All the clubs in the Premier League are benefitting from a big cheque from the broadcasters - it's the other business that really separates you and gives you the step up over others.
"It's a real challenge to find main sponsors and many clubs are struggling to do so. There's definitely more sellers than buyers and, therefore, to have such a credible and high-value partner in situ and to make sure that is solid and retained, adds tremendous value."
Everton's initial contract with Chang was agreed ahead of the 2004/05 season – an agreement which was renewed in 2005, 2008 and again in 2010.
And in a highly-competitive market, Elstone believes it's the longevity established with one main partner that has allowed the Blues to again negotiate record-breaking terms.
He said: "I think what we've established over the 10 years that we've worked with Chang is a true partnership. I think partnerships are all about one another delivering on each other's objectives and I think we have proved we can do that for Chang and Chang have been a great partner for us, providing us with a steady stream of income and support and a gateway into Asian opportunities.
"I think if you look at some of the partnerships around the Premier League that come and go, they're little more than a branding exercise of sticking a logo on a shirt and around the side of a pitch, and I don't think those stand the test of time.
"If you're constantly churning over with your sponsors, there's a really good chance that value will be being eroded. I think what we've been able to do with Chang is drive up values.
"Every deal that we've done with Chang has been at an increased value and this one is no different."