Phnom Penh Crown manager Be Makara expressed his concern Monday over the decision by the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) to force every Metfone C-League team to place the Metfone logos on the lower back of all their shirts. Crown had used the advertising space on the shirts to promote one of their sponsors, asetzone.com, an online sports betting company, since the beginning of the previous league season in a three-year deal reportedly worth US$15,000 per year.
Be Makara commented that the new regulations from the FFC would not go down well with his sponsors and risks their withdrawal. “It’s presently very hard to find a sponsor for the Cambodian teams,” he said. “We don’t want to lose this chance [to generate revenue for the club]. Sponsors are really important to strengthen our team. If we lose a sponsor, we may not only lose money for the club, but also lose good players like some of the other clubs have experienced.”
Crown is well-known for being one of the richest clubs in the Kingdom, with Crown Casino as their main sponsor and a large logo on the front of their shirts. Be Makara reaffirmed the necessity of private sponsorship deals for Cambodian clubs, and suggested that the federation consider moving the logo from the back of the shirt to the sleeve.
May Tola, a deputy general secretary and spokesman for the FFC, said that Crown should negotiate this issue directly with Metfone because the Federation did not want to jeopardise their own three-year sponsorship deal with the telecommunications firm last year, which totaled US$1.5 million. The federation official played down the importance of advertising on the lower back of the shirts, advising Crown to move their asetzone
.com logo to somewhere on the front.
“Moving the logo to the front will please the fans, as the back part is rarely interesting to them,” said May Tola, adding that teams should discuss their advertising plans first with the FFC to avoid this situation happening again.