The Nationwide Building Society, by far the biggest such entity in the UK, has confirmed that it is not to renew its £20m sponsorship of the England football team.
£20m doesn’t sound that much but, given that the Football Association which funds the England team still has huge debts outstanding on the new Wembley stadium and lost its most remunerative FA Cup TV contract last year with the demise of failed sports broadcaster Setanta, this latest reverse amounts to a financial crisis.
The stupid FA, then run by former Labour government apparatchik David Triesman, pissed off Nationwide at the start of negotiations by hiring super-aggressive sports rights agency IMG to find a bigger sponsor.
IMG failed in this task as English football subsided (yet again) in a humiliating exit from the World Cup at the hands of Germany.
So the FA is up shit creek without a paddle.
As we’ve said here before, the only way forward is for the all-powerful Premier League to take charge of the English national football team, however much we hate the bloated plutocrats who run the Premiership teams.
We also said here before, long before anyone else did, that the Nationwide deal was toast. So that’s one for us.
Meanwhile English football needs something quite radical to dig itself out of a very large hole.