pátek 09.02.2024

Attacking the spectator record or extending partnership contracts. The spring part of the Czech league starts

Attacking the spectator record or extending partnership contracts. The spring part of the Czech league starts

pátek 09.02.2024
This Saturday, the winter break will end after 55 days and the 20th round will kick off the spring part of the FORTUNA:LIGA season and a direct attack on the record attendance. The league's football association has several important decisions to make, including the selection process for the general partner for the first and second league. At the same time, the LFA has already extended contracts with three important partners.

A very positive news of the autumn part of the season was what happened in the stadiums. Whether on the pitches or in the stands. During the 19 rounds, 948 875 spectators came to the stadiums which is an average of 6 411 spectators per game. This is the second highest average attendance per round in the history of the independent Czech league. So the overall record from the 1996/97 season, when the average was 7 155, also remains in play.

"Trying to at least get close to the record must be the goal of all of us for the spring part of the season and I believe we can break it. I am also convinced that if we don't break it in the spring, we will next season. We have all noticed a shift in the culture at the stadiums and the work of the clubs with the fans in general in recent months. And we are not only talking about Sparta and Slavia which have been doing a great job for a long time, but also about the rest of the competition," believes Dušan Svoboda, the chairman of the League Football Association.

"We at the LFA also want to contribute to this through our projects such as FORTUNA:LIGA fanzones, League to Schools, SLO and Liga Academy," added Daniel Hajný, LFA Sales and Marketing Director.

Contract extension with partners

The LFA has also been significantly active in the field of business partnerships in recent months. After the first phase of the audiovisual tender, negotiations with the current league partners came up. With positive results. During the winter break, the contract with three partners, Louda Auto+, ČPP and also JVC was extended for two more seasons. Moreover with a significant increase in financial performance.

"We are very pleased that we have managed to agree on the contract extension with all of these partners. We take it as a confirmation that the mutual and long-term cooperation works and brings all parties what they expected from it. At the same time, I see this as another signal that the LFA and Czech professional football in general is a stable and attractive partner with whom it makes sense to join forces," said Daniel Hajný, Sales and Marketing Director of the LFA.

"We supply 280 new cars to domestic football every season. This is the fourth year we have been providing mobility for the LFA and all clubs in the first and second leagues. Our partnership will continue for the next two seasons," said Louda Auto+ Sales Director Robert Imling. "As the leading dealer of young cars on the Czech market, we are happy to be a proud partner of the most popular sport in our country for the upcoming season as well," added Robert Imling.

The tender for the general partnership is approaching

The tender for the general partnership of the 1st and 2nd highest competition will be an important milestone. The contract with the current general partner of both competitions the FORTUNA betting company which has been in force since 2018, expires in June 2024. This will be another major tender that will take place in Czech professional football in recent months.

"We are currently sorting out all the formalities that are connected with the tender and that need to be implemented before its launch. At the same time we are discussing the important details it should contain. The goal is clear, we want the general partner to be an important help in our efforts to move Czech professional football forward again. We are planning to open the tender at the end of February or the beginning of March," said LFA President Dušan Svoboda at a press conference before the start of the spring part of the FORTUNA:LIGA season.

In addition to the general partnership, the League Football Association will also issue a tender for the sale of TV and streaming rights for the purposes of betting odds for the foreign market, audio and match highlights.

"As was the case with the first three tenders, a working group has been set up with close cooperation between representatives of the LFA and the individual clubs. I firmly believe that the mutual cooperation will be similarly successful as it was in the case of the autumn tender for selected audiovisual rights," Svoboda said.

Increased profits from solidarity payments to Czech clubs from UEFA

Czech clubs can also look forward to increased financial contributions from UEFA, the European Football Union, under the so-called solidarity payments. Through these payments UEFA redistributes a portion of the funds generated each year from its club competitions, the Champions League, Europa League and European Conference League, to all national associations.

"The increase in the amount already occurred last season, when UEFA changed the distribution key significantly in favour of the country's position in the UEFA club ranking, i.e. more sporting rather than marketing considerations are taken into account. In addition to this, the top 5 countries have given up huge sums in solidarity in favour of medium and small leagues. In addition, compared to the previous year, there is a significant increase in the amount due to the participation of Viktoria Plzeň in the Champions League because countries with a participant in the Champions League are heavily favored in the distribution of funds," explained LFA Executive Director Tomáš Bárta.

For the 2022/23 competition season, 4% of the total UEFA club competition revenues, which totalled €177.2 million, will be shared. Czech clubs will receive €5.204 million, compared to €2.97 million the previous season. The amount will be shared between 13 clubs, with each team earning €400,307.70. In the 2021/22 season, the amount for one club was €228,461.53. The contribution does not apply to Plzeň, Slavia and Slovácko, as the aforementioned trio played in the Champions League and Europa Conference group stage respectively.

O2 TV Sport prepares preview, Fortuna anticipates an even battle

LFA partners are also preparing for the relaunch of FORTUNA:LIGA. The main broadcaster O2 TV Sport will start the spring season on Friday, when it will offer a 90-minute FORTUNA:LIGA Preview from 18:30. "Presenter David Sobišek together with experts will bring a great summary of winter transfers and forecasts before the start of the spring part of the FORTUNA:LIGA season. On Saturday and Sunday, the F:INITO programme will conclude the duels played, and on Monday at 8.30 p.m. the popular entertainment show TIKI-TAKA, which has already had 231 episodes with almost 390 personalities from the world of sport, culture and show business, will take the floor," said Marek Kindernay, Managing Director of O2 TV Sport.

The general partner of both competitions the FORTUNA betting company believes that during the spring season the stadiums will be visited by at least the same number of fans as in the autumn and expects an even battle on both poles of the table. This is also reflected in the betting.

"Not only the course of the autumn part of FORTUNA:LIGA, but also the performances of all three cup representatives in Europe show that Czech club football is definitely worth watching. The fans came out in force, which was only underlined by the often sold-out arenas. The shift in attendance is already a great victory and we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that this trend continues during the spring. The bookmakers' favourite is Sparta at odds of 1.7:1, while Fortuna's punters are 60% confident in Slavia. However, the competition will also have momentum on other levels, be it the battle for retention or the fight for the king of scorers crown. If the autumn was interesting, I believe that only in the spring we have something to look forward to," says Marek Janoušek, sponsorship manager of Fortuna.