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Barclays Considering English Premier League Exit

Barclays Considering English Premier League Exit
Paper instructions:
Wall Street Journal Papers: In the write up, you need to summarize the article, motivate why it is relevant to this class (Finance), and clearly argue why this particular article was the one you chose. Be sure to properly cite the article that you are summarizing.
Max Colchester
Updated Jan. 26, 2014 9:05 a.m. ET
LONDON— BarclaysBARC.LN -2.38% PLC may end its long-running relationship with the English Premier League when its current sponsorship deal expires in 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter
The British bank is weighing its options for the world renowned soccer league amid a broader review of its sponsorship of high profile events, which include the tennis ATP World Tour Finals in London and the Barclays Center in New York.
The outcome of the general sponsorship review is ongoing and no definitive decision has been made, according to a person familiar with the matter. A spokesman for the Premier League didn’t return calls for comment.
As well as soccer and tennis, Barclays also sponsors the South African rugby team, a series of golf tournaments and golfer Phil Mickelson.
Several of these flagship sponsorship deals were brokered under former chief executive Robert Diamond as the bank sought to raise its profile both in the U.K. and abroad.
The bank’s sponsorship of England’s top soccer league dates back to 2001. As the league’s popularity soared across Asia and Africa, so did the sponsorship costs. In 2011 Barclays handed over £27.5 million a season ($45.32 million). Under the current three-year deal, signed in 2012, the sponsorship increased to £40 million a season. That deal was announced just days after the bank paid $453 million to settle allegations that it had sought to rig interbank lending rates.
Following Mr. Diamond’s departure from the bank, Barclays’s new management has sought to present the bank in a more sober light and cut costs. In September last year, Barclays said that operating expenses rose £271 million as the bank pushed through a restructuring of its investment bank and European operations.
A few months later, Barclays decided not to extend its sponsorship of a London bike hire program when it ends in 2015 after pumping £25 million into the project. Back in 2011, Mr. Diamond touted the cycle scheme as key part of its commitment to “citizenship.” The scheme showed “the role we play in the communities we serve,” Mr. Diamond said at the time.

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