Barclays underwrites Premiership for UAE
The UK’s Export Credit scheme has secured cover from Barclays Bank to guarantee the supply of the English soccer Premiership for 3 years to Abu Dhabi Media Co. The insurance cover values the soccer deal at just over $100m per season, a record for the oil-rich Gulf states.
The English Premier League insists on such cover to protect it from defaulting broadcasters. According to Arabian Business, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, son of a former emir of Abu Dhabi, has already spent more than $480m on new players since wrapping up his £210m purchase of Manchester City in September 2008. Barclays Bank is the main sponsor of the Premier League.
The new season for English soccer started in August, and television broadcast rights brought in a record £3bn, up 65% on the previous 3-year contract.