Liverpool, the Premier League champions is embroiled in a controversy over an expensive advertisement deal with Mauritius.
The RS381 millions (US$9 million) contract with the club has raised questions in Mauritius.
Mauritius has already disbursed Rs 76 million ($1.91 million). Yet, the final sum could be more than the $9 million in the contract.
La facture finale risque cependant d’être salée et dépasser les Rs 400 millions avec les autres coûts cachés.
It is now one of the favourite topic in online forums in Mauritius, particularly on Facebook.
The contract, signed in July, is said to give too much favours to the English club.
The $9 million will be paid to Liverpool FC in three years for a 2 minutes signage during matches played by Liverpool.
It will be split in six, 20 seconds, ads on Mauritius as a tourist destination.
CONDITIONAL FREE TICKETS
It is the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority that is responsible for the ads. The contract also stipulates that Liverpool will grant eight tickets for the club matches. Only four tickets is for VVIP access.
But the tickets are only available if the seats are not occupied.
The local media is scrutinising the terms of the contract in all its details, noting that Mauritius is on the losing side.
The country will get its ads featured in the stadiums where Liverpool will play its international friendlies.
That will be four minutes ads and two free tickets for the matches and ten free tickets to watch Liverpool train.
L’Express newspaper in Port Louis jokes that the lawyers of the club would probably expect the Mauritius Tourism agency to clean the stadiums!
A clause of the contract says the ads must respect the principle of “clean stadium”. The ads are only digital ads.
Besides photo shoots with legends or other players at the cost of the Mauritius Tourism agency, Liverpool is giving 20 ‘authentic’ jerseys.
MAURITIUS PM SLAPPED?
In what local newspapers say is a slap to the country’s Prime Minister, the contract says it is not a ‘partnership’ between Liverpool and Mauritius.
It is only a deal between the club’s advertising arm and Mauritius tourism agency.
The Mauritius PM, Pravind Jugnauth sold the idea of the ‘partnership’ with Liverpool to the nation.
He proudly calls it a partnership but Liverpool says it is not.
The Prime Minister is under fire on social media for ‘giving away’ so much money to a Premier League club.
Some netizens are openly criticising the Prime Minister and the tourism agency.
They say the country is suffering from economic downturn due to the COVID-19 impact and people are jobless and broke.
They argue that the country should not have done such a deal in the middle of the pandemic crisis.