The Football Association will lose up to &£800,000 from team sponsors Nationwide if the England football team fail to qualify for the Euro 2000 championships.
Nationwide, which earlier this year signed a &£14m deal over four years to sponsor the England national team, has a clause in its contract which allows it to withhold bonuses when the team misses out on major championships.
One source close to the deal says: “Over the four years, two major championships come up – Euro 2000 and the World Cup. Missing out on one of those means missing out on millions of pounds worth of lost press and TV coverage.”
FA commercial director Phil Carling says: “Most of our deals are structured on bonus payments as we qualify for, and progress through, major tournaments. Nationwide is our biggest England team sponsor so its bonuses will be the largest.”
Nationwide marketing director Mike Lazenby will not disclose the size of bonuses the company pays to the FA.
Nationwide runs a large football sponsorship programme. The financial services company is the sponsor of the English Football League, the amateur Football Conference and the Irish Gold League, and is an associate sponsor of the Scottish national team.