July 19, 2010

William Hill in talks with Malaga FC over sponsorship deal

William Hill is currently in talks with Malaga Football Club, following reports that the operator’s sponsorship deal with the club is to be terminated.

New club owner Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani of Qatar was reported by Bloomberg last week as planning to replace William Hill’s shirt sponsorship of Malaga CF, as gambling is against the laws of Islam.

William Hill spokesperson Kate Miller however today refused to confirm reports that the Sheikh planned to replace the bookmaker with another sponsor. “We are aware that there is a new owner of Malaga football club and we are currently in talks. We are still the main sponsor of Malaga FC,” she told EGRMagazine.com.

William Hill’s statement followed Abdullah Ghubn, a business associate of the Sheikh, telling Bloomberg: “We don’t want to turn everything upside down and cancel contracts but let’s put it this way: I’m a smoker but I don’t smoke in my home because these are the rules and I want to protect my family.”

William Hill’s contract with the Spanish La Liga club runs until 2012, potentially raising legal issues if the Sheikh moved to sever the deal prematurely.

Sheikh Abdullah purchased the club in June for €10.5m, which included the club’s €36m debt.

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