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Payments take to the football field: Creating finance efficiencies for Liverpool Football Club

Western Union Business Solutions

This article is part of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s Raise the BAR (Business Adaptability & Resilience) Campaign, sponsored by Western Union Business Solutions. For more campaign content click here. This campaign provides Chamber members with a platform to share learning and inspiration on this agenda. All views and opinions expressed below are those of the author only. 

Challenge:

With the UK’s Premier League being followed by fans in every continent, three billion people tuning in to games from around the globe and first team players drawn from over 50 different countries, football is truly a global game. Top clubs, like Liverpool FC, are now global businesses in their own right.

However, the football industry faces elements of financial unpredictability due to the multitude of cross border payments and transactions, and the wide range of currencies these transactions are paid in. This all takes places against the backdrop of wider economic and currency conditions over which clubs have no control and in some cases limited foresight.

When it comes to currency exposure, the two biggest variables affecting clubs are prize money and player transfers.

When it comes to prize money, the amount awarded and the currency it is paid in is dependent on the team’s success in different competitions throughout the season. On the player transfers side, signings can come from clubs all over the world. The completion dates and payment schedules of these transfers can make a huge difference on the total amount paid by a club due to the exchange rate fluctuations that could occur from when a deal is agreed to when it is completed and paid.

As such, Liverpool FC should be thinking to minimise currency exposure, ensure it has access to the best exchange rates and consider hedging solutions to allow it to move money across borders quickly and efficiently throughout the season.

Solution:

As well as being the club’s first shirt sleeve sponsor and only the sixth brand to appear on the famous red shirt, Western Union is also the official Money Transfer Partner of Liverpool FC. This allows Western Union to use its global cross-border digital transfer and payments platform to provide money transfer capabilities to the club – enabling fast, efficient digital payments and money transfers between clubs, commercial partners and other global organisations.

Western Union’s team of expert forex and payments analysts bring deep market knowledge and insight to provide Liverpool FC with tailored support on the best strategies for navigating a range of currency challenges.

Result:

Western Union’s industry leading expertise and technology has allowed Liverpool FC to benefit from competitive foreign exchange rates, reduce currency exposure and achieve considerable savings. Helping the club perform just as well off the pitch as they do on it.  

“In this complex and sometimes unpredictable business of football, having a partner that truly understands the complex money transfer and payments needs of a modern football club is critical. Western Union consistently provides first-class support, responding quickly to our changing transaction and currency requirements. Whether close to home or far afield, we can look to Western Union to help us move money when, how and where we need to. We are thrilled to have them on our team.” Andy Hughes, Chief Operating Officer, Liverpool Football Club

The power of this partnership comes from the synergy of our specialisms. Whether it be moving money or delivering world-class international football, both Western Union and Liverpool FC help create borderless worlds for a global community of billions. We are immensely proud to be working with Liverpool FC and look forward to supporting one of the biggest names in English Football for years to come.” David Prendeville, Head of UK FX Services, Western Union Business Solutions.