Online gaming company BetClic has entered into a sponsorship deal with champions Birkirkara FC. The deal covers the next eighteen months.
Created in 2005 by French entrepreneurs, BetClic is the founding brand of BetClic Everest Group. A company which already employs 250 people in Malta and is one of the fastest growing online gaming brands in Europe, especially France, Spain, Portugal and Poland.
Addressing a press conference at the club premises on Thursday, Birkirkara FC president Karm Galea said that such sponsorships were of utmost importance for clubs.
Galea said that Birkirkara were striving to adopt a most professional approach. He said that thanks to the committee and the technical staff, the team is now being run on a semi-professional basis.
The Birkirkara president said that BetClic sponsored some of the top-level clubs in Europe including Juventus in Italy, Olympique Marseille and Lyon in France and therefore Birkirkara FC are proud that BetClic opted to support them.
Speaking on behalf of BetClic, Michael Mifsud said that it was a pleasure for the company to support a leading club like Birkirkara. He said BetClic was one of the very first gaming companies to involve themselves in local football.
Mifsud explained that BetClic Everest Group was one of the world leaders in on-line gaming and has a portfolio comprising four brands – Everest Gaming, BetClic, bet-at-home.com and Expekt. Led by Nicolas Beraud, the company is owned equally by Lov Group (belonging to Stephane Courbit, a highly successful entrepreneur within the energy, internet and entertainment industry in France) and Societe des Bains de Mer (whose major shareholder is the Principality of Monaco, owners of hotels resorts and casinos in Montecarlo).
Michael Mifsud concluded by wishing Birkirkara success, hoping that the company brings them luck in the same way BetClic brings luck to their clients.
Birkirkara coach Paul Zammit said that such sponsorships help clubs and football in general move forward. He said sponsorships were a boost for the game as a sound financial basis enables clubs to move forward.
Zammit said that over the past eighteen months, the club has achieved most of its targets. He said that the club wanted to create a structure for it to operate on a semi-professional basis. He said this was not only achieved by having the players training morning and afternoons but by also having a technical staff to complement this.
The biggest problem for the club was the lack of adaquate training facilities. Ironically a problem which he also felt when he was the coach of Valletta.
Paul Zammit explained that the team was built on a number of core players plus younger players who are club products. Thanks to the hard work by the club’s nursery, the club’s future is bright.
As regards this season, Zammit said that he never had the full squad at his disposal. He said that players were doing their very best for the team and they deserve to be in a team which challenges for honours.
Zammit said that the squad needs to be strengthened with two players – a striker and a utility player. They target a local player and a foreigner. In case, they fail to sign the local player, they would opt for another foreigner. However the Birkirkara coach stressed they will make no hasty decision in the choice of foreigners.
For him, other important signings would be the return of players like Andrew Decesare, Nikola Vukanac and Trevor Cilia who missed several games due to injuries.
Zammit said the target is that of challenging for honours. With the current situation where Valletta enjoy a comfortable lead, Birkirkara will aim at keeping close and then make a serious bid once the second phase starts.
Meanwhile Birkirkara president Karm Galea announced that the club had terminated the contract of goalkeeper Ezequiel Lovizon by mutual consent.