Tottenham Hotspur are believed to be edging closer to securing a potential sponsorship deal with the South African government.
What’s the latest?
There have been reports suggesting conditional approval has been granted over the possibility of South Africa Tourism striking an agreement with the north London club over a sponsorship deal.
The proposed deal is believed to see the tourism board have their logo printed on one of Tottenham’s shirt sleeves and is said to bring in £42.5m over the course of a three-year partnership.
However, there will likely be some controversy surrounding the potential partnership with the South African government coming under scrutiny for various issues happening in their country.
And speaking on the latest edition of The Tottenham Way podcast, journalist Tom Allnutt has suggested this could be a deal which brings some serious questions in the direction of the Spurs board:
(3:40) “But from the South African end, I think it was a pretty controversial deal given I think the country is in a sort of state of disaster at the moment with record power cuts and the economy is all over the place.
“So I think, you know, there was a lot of question marks about the sort of wisdom of giving a sponsorship deal to Spurs.”
Investment but at what expense?
We have already seen in recent times investment in Premier League clubs has brought with it some serious controversy with the likes of Newcastle United.
The Magpies have come under scrutiny for their approval of a bid from Saudi Arabia to take over their club despite the heavy reports surrounding the country’s human rights record.
And although this deal will not see South Africa stake a claim in Spurs’ shares, it is still a form of investment from the South African government which are coming under fire for its unwillingness to condemn the war in Ukraine.
On top of that, as Allnutt alluded to, there is also an ongoing energy crisis in South Africa which will see many locals struggle through power cuts as the government look set to send £42.5m to Tottenham.
And reports suggest many within the country feel as if this is money which could have been better spent within their own sporting interests.
It is now apparent any deal struck with a foreign source is going to be scrutinised for any potential stick to beat the club over, however, there are clear issues surrounding this deal involving the South African government.
And given Spurs have reportedly held talks with the likes of Google over stadium naming rights, we do wonder whether Todd Kline could have sought out a more palatable source of income.