Monday, February 12, 2007

Thomas Cook Sponsorship Under The Microscope

Thomas Cook, our Club's shirt sponsor, has today announced that they will merge with My Travel to create Europe's second largest tour operator. The enlarged company will be known as Thomas Cook Group and be based in London.

Thomas Cook was founded in 1841 and currently employs 20,000. Earlier this month they announced pre-tax profits of €205m on turnover of €7.8bn. The merger is expected to bring a pre-tax cost saving of approximately £75m per annum once the full benefits of the merger is realised. Much of the savings are thought to come from the reduction of staff.

Thomas Cook became our Club's shirt sponsor and official travel partner in the Summer of 2003 initially for three years however, this deal was extended until 2008. According to reports, Thomas Cook currently pay £1.5m a year to be our Club's shirt sponsor and the deal expires on 30 June 2008.

The current deal is one of the lowest in the Premiership and in recent times has been surpassed by Bolton, Spurs and Newcastle's kit deals. There is no indication, at present, that Thomas Cook's merger will have an effect on the current deal or them continuing as kit sponsor however, perhaps when negotiations start on extending their deal our Board can squeeze a higher amount out of what will be Europe's second largest tour operator!


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