Expert: Southampton’s record-setting sponsorship carries hallmarks of Chinese state influence

14 May 2019

Pierre Emil Southampton
Photo: Getty Images Next season Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is playing with LD Sports on the shirt. It is surprising that the new Southampton main sponsor, who is yet to launch, has been allowed to spend money overseas, says Professor Simon Chadwick.

It is surprising that the new Southampton main sponsor, who is yet to launch, has been allowed to spend money overseas, says Professor Simon Chadwick.

“It is not just a short-term arrangement involving the placement of a name on a shirt.”

Henrik Lønne loenne@offthepitch.com

Southampton’s record-breaking shirt sponsor deal with Chinese company, LD Sports, raises the eyebrows of Professor Simon Chadwick.

He describes it as no ordinary deal. When Chinese companies make big investments abroad, these are subject to state approval to avoid capital outflow. 

According to Professor Chadwick, this means that this deal will have been approved by the Chinese authorities and that it is aligned with state interests.

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