Sports sponsorship agency Winlink has sued Premier League leaders Liverpool FC over its £15 million training kit sponsorship with BetVictor.
According to Winlink, the Merseyside-based club owes the agency £1.1 million. It has been argued that one of Winlink’s executives introduced club officials to the Gibraltar-based sportsbook.
The agency argued that it was “heavily involved over a number of years in securing a successful introduction”.
Liverpool have themselves responded to these claims and said that a friend of BetVictor CEO Andreas Meinrad had actually conducted the three-season deal.
What is Winlink arguing?
Winlink representative Andrew Sutcliffe QC told the High Court that “Liverpool has not kept its side of the bargain”. He also said that the agency had maintained its relationship with the club. In his eyes, Winlink only needed to fulfill two conditions related to introducing club executives to betting operators and said bookmaker then entering a sponsorship agreement.
Sutcliffe noted that Winlink has been successful with introducing club executives elsewhere to business partners in the past. Some of the names he listed were Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan.
The Winlink representative also said that the agency is a specialist in “identifying and introducing betting companies to sports rights holders”.
Liverpool disagree with Winlink’s claims
The Reds have released a statement, in which they argued that former Head of Global Partnerships Rafaella Valentino honed the partnership.
Liverpool representative Robert Anderson QC argued that Winlink’s introduction to BetVictor did not have an influence on the completion of the deal.
In the eyes of the club, the agency introduced executives to the operator two-and-a-half years before the sponsorship was negotiated. Regardless of previous introductions, the club argues that Winlink has “no rights” to claim compensation from them.
BetVictor sponsored the club’s training kits between 2016 and 2019. After that, 1XBET became Liverpool’s official betting partner.
Judge Mark Pelling QC will hear the trial, which is expected to last for five days. The final judgement is reserved for a later date.