Fluminense tear up shirt sponsorship contract over missed payments
Fluminense, one of Brazil’s leading soccer clubs, has terminated its main sponsorship deal with Valle Express, a domestic credit card company, which had fallen into arrears with its payments.
The Rio de Janeiro club made the announcement on Wednesday, and the team wore shirts without the company’s logo in a training session.
In January, Fluminense announced a two-year agreement with Valle valued at R$20.1 million ($5.3 million), which included branding on the front of the famous ‘Tricolor’ shirts.
However, the four-time Brazilian league champions were frustrated by the late payment of an installment of R$200,000 in March and the failure to make a payment of R$250,000 in April, according to daily sports newspaper Lance!
Other payments were not forthcoming in May, June and July, with the result that Valle was understood to be R$1.4 billion in arrears, prompting Fluminense’s move yesterday.
Earlier this year, Sao Paulo-based Corinthians cancelled a deal with Valle, which entailed branding on the team’s shirt sleeves, just months after it was signed, for similar reasons.
In a statement, Valle defended its action, saying that it had suspended payments to Fluminense because of non-compliance with obligations.
Fluminense issued a terse response, saying it “regretted” the statement, adding: “The club clarifies that it is comfortable with its compliance with contractual obligations and, as a priority for good relations and respect with all its partners, informs that it will express itself and demonstrate its reasons in the appropriate forum.”
On Tuesday, Valle had announced that it was being bought by a group of US investors, and was becoming a multinational company, with new products and cards to be launched soon in the Brazilian market, but this was not enough to salvage the deal with Fluminense, which are left with a gap on their shirts and a financial shortfall.
Prior to the deal with Valle, the club had been without a main shirt sponsor since March 2016 when a deal with juice maker Viton 44 collapsed.
Fluminense is presently ninth in Brazil’s 20-team Campeonato Brasileiro.