Standard Liege give up rights fees in exchange for bank loan
Germany's Raisin Bank is to receive Standard Liege’s share of media rights fees after issuing a loan to the Belgian soccer club.
Belgium’s top-flight Pro League pays rights fees to its clubs in instalments but due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Standard needed the funds up front.
As a result, the club has transferred its TV rights money to Raisin in exchange for a substantial loan matching the total sum it will receive from the league for the duration of its present broadcast deal.
The league is in the first season of a five-year agreement with international subscription broadcaster Eleven Sports, worth around €105 million ($126 million).
The Pro League will now pay the instalments on each scheduled payment date to Raisin instead of Standard in a unique occurrence.
The move provides a much-needed short-term solution for the club as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on their revenues.
This type of agreement is not uncommon in soccer as it is often used by teams when transferring players as most deals are done in instalments.
In this case, the selling club typically receives the full amount from a bank while the buying club pays the bank over the agreed period.
Standard have entered into the deal presupposing that they will remain in the top-tier Pro League for the duration of the rights contract with Eleven.
They are one of the most successful clubs in Belgium with 10 titles, and been in the top flight since 1921, longer than any other club.