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How much will Suarez bite really cost?

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 02:11

A record ban and a fine for Uruguay striker Luis Suarez. Sonia Legg looks at the financial impact of FIFA's action on one of soccer's top earners.

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Luis Suarez's sponsors would have known they were taking a risk. He's long been known as a soccer bad boy. That can of course reap dividends by attracting headlines. But too many bad ones can put a contract at risk, says Brand Finance's David Haigh. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DAVID HAIGH, BRAND FINANCE, SAYING: "These days sponsors are taking these sorts of incidents much, much more seriously and are taking serious action against them. Various sportsmen have run into trouble with their sponsors, obviously Tiger Woods with his sexual activities and Wayne Rooney had a number of problems. David Beckham is the perfect example of a guy who has done it right and Luis Suarez is seriously damaging his value with what he has done." It was Suarez's third biting offence - and this time his punishment will really hurt. The $100,000 fine is only a couple of days' pay. But soccer's governing body FIFA also banned him from nine international matches - and all soccer activity for four months. Adidas and 888 Poker had already raised concerns about the new incident prior to the fine. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DAVID HAIGH, BRAND FINANCE, SAYING: "Every contract between a sponsor and a player reserves the right to cancel if it is bringing them into disrepute. You don't get clothing manufacturers, perfume manufacturers and food manufacturers that are going to respectable people wanting an animal who bites people as one of their spokespeople so it will seriously damage his merchandising and sponsorship revenues standing I am sure." The Liverpool forward's career is now on the line - and it's a well paid one. He reportedly signed a deal worth $75 million over four and half years - that gives him more than $270,000 a week. He was the English Football Association's player of the year last season. And there were rumours a top European club might be interested in buying him during the summer break - possibly for as much as 80 million euros. They may be having a rethink now - or at least lowering their price. At home he's still a hero - he helped Uruguay qualify for the next round of the World Cup. But without their top player they may not progress any further in the competition - meaning even his defenders could lose out financially.

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How much will Suarez bite really cost?

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 02:11