Schalke to Lose €20 Million Gazprom Sponsorship This Summer?

Schalke could lose their extremely lucrative Gazprom sponsorship one year earlier than thought, reports in Germany state. It recently was announced that the deal between the club and Umbro would end ahead of schedule this summer.

According to what was reported by the likes of Sport BILD and Kicker earlier this year, the deal between Schalke and Gazprom, which is set to end in 2022 anyway, is not valid in the case of relegation to the second tier. And since those reports dropped, roughly a month ago, Schalke's chances of survival in the top flight have not really climbed. They sit nine points below the relegation play-off spot with just nine points from 22 matches.

It was initially reported by Sport BILD that the deal between Gazprom and Schalke, which is worth a massive €20 million a season, is not valid for Bundesliga 2. This means that, should relegation be confirmed, the club will not have a main sponsor for next season. Schalke's deal with Gazprom is actually the fifth most valuable in the Bundesliga, behind just Wolfsburg, Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig. Much more successful clubs like Gladbach (€9m) or Leverkusen (€6m) receive far less than S04.

But not all hope is lost for the club, even in the case of relegation. As reported by Kicker a bit later, there exists a slim chance for the deal to continue even in the event of relegation.

As quoted from the contract by the sports magazine, the deal would continue if both parties found an agreement "within 20 working days" from the day that the Bundesliga exit would be confirmed. This would obviously only be possible for a much lower annual payment, causing more financial woes for the club. Schalke's debt was last reported to amount to almost €240 million.

In a similar vein, there are rumors that Schalke could sell off their place in the LEC (League of Legends European Championship) to raise funds.

But as reported by local news site Ruhr24, there could even be some fans who would be happy if Gazprom. The company's close connection tot he Russian government, which owns around 50% of the shares, have long been a cause of unhappiness.

Schalke 04 and Umbro Part Ways Before End Of Contract

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