French football clubs rush to terminate binary options partnerships

Maria Nikolova

Under Article 77 of the Sapin II law, football teams have until the end of June this year to terminate all sponsorships and partnerships with companies offering trading with high-risk financial instruments.

The number of French football clubs putting an end to their partnerships with trading firms offering high-risk financial products is rapidly growing. This, of course, has to do with the “Sapin II” law, which has dramatically affected the status of the online trading sector in France.

Looking at the text of the law itself, we see that it prohibits all forms of sponsorship and partnership that results in the advertising, be it direct or indirect, of high-risk financial products. That is how sports teams got touched by the ban, as the recent influx of sponsorship deals with binary option firms and FX brokers had to cease.

The law provides some more time to end such partnerships – this has to be done not later than June 30, 2017. However, French football clubs are not ready to wait for the deadline and are in a hurry to terminate the deals. A report by Challenges.fr estimates that five of France’s Premiere League football clubs have terminated their partnership deals with online trading companies before the end of 2016. The list includes names like PSG, Olympique lyonnais and OGC Nice.

Looking at the three FCs mentioned above, we have to note the following: the three of them had partnership deals with binary options brokers – OptionWeb, 24option.com, and InteractiveOption.com, respectively. At the time of signing the deals, all three binary options providers labeled themselves as leaders in their segment. In addition to that, when the deals were sealed, these firms were not sanctioned (or blacklisted) by the French financial markets’ regulator AMF.

These facts should be sufficient to justify the actions of the FCs back in time, when the partnerships were formed.

None of the football clubs was eager to admit (at least, not to Challenges.fr) that they terminated the deals because of the law. All of them, however, have confirmed that they were aware of the new rules envisaged.

The trend of FCs dropping partnerships with binary options brands is apparent outside of France too. An example is Southampton FC, which in September put an end to its sponsorship agreement with Banc de Binary, following a successful FinanceFeeds lobbying campaign. Yesterday, January 11, 2017, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) announced the renouncement of the Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF) license of Banc de Binary.

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