Everton and Chang Announce Most Lucrative Sponsorship Deal in Club's History

Dan Brett@@DanBrett90Contributor IIIMarch 20, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Seamus Coleman of Everton celebrates after scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Cardiff City at Goodison Park on March 15, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton have announced a club-record shirt sponsorship deal with Chang that could be worth in excess of £16 million for the next three years.

The deal is the most lucrative in the club's 136-year history, and will commence at the beginning of next season, according to Everton's official website.

Toffees chief executive Robert Elstone, as well as striker Arouna Kone and legend Graeme Sharp, all travelled to Thailand on March 20.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Arouna Kone of Everton is challenged by Tom Huddlestone of Hull City during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Hull City at Goodison Park on October 19, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brun
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Elstone, alongside President and CEO of Thai Beverage Public Company Limited Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, put pen to paper at Bangkok's Plaza Athenee hotel.

The deal will not only mean a renewed shirt sponsorship, but also focus on improving football talent in Thailand with investment into projects to improve the sport in the country.

The Toffees and their sponsor have shared a 10-year partnership already, and Elstone spoke of the club's pride to renew their contract:

Everton has enjoyed a special relationship with Chang extending now for 10 years. In that period, we have grown to understand one another, delivered great work, helped achieve objectives and developed a truly great partnership and, indeed a friendship, based on mutual trust, respect and affection. We do not take our partnership and all that we have achieved lightly. Everton is very proud of our mutual success to date.

Sirivadhanabhakdi then told of his delight after the pair committed to their latest partnership, maintaining the longest-serving sponsorship deal in the Premier League:

Chang’s sponsorship with Everton football team is our proudest accomplishment, as we are inspiring people, especially youngsters, regardless of status to become responsible people in society, with positive thinking and attitude – all gained through football. We have also created an unprecedented phenomenon in the Thai football scene, where talented Thai football youngsters can earn a chance to be trained by world-renowned Everton Academy coaches.

Everton tweeted live from the event, moments after the deal was confirmed:

This is the fourth time that the club have renewed their deal with Chang, after putting pen to paper on extensions in 2005, 2008, 2010 and now 2014.

The new contract will not only come as a boost to the club off-field, but could also go some way to improving on-field affairs.

Everton, currently sixth in the Premier League table, hold the last Europa League qualification place. Sitting two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand, Roberto Martinez's men have their sights firmly focused on a return to European football.

Martinez is fast growing his reputation in the English game as one of the top managers, and speaking with Match of the Day magazineRoss Barkley believes the Spaniard is "more tactical" than former boss David Moyes, per the Press Association, via The Guardian:

Roberto Martínez has come in and given everyone confidence. He's a positive man and doesn't say anything negative. He's similar to David Moyes as they both like to take over the training session and be the main man, but Martínez is more tactical. We do a lot more tactical work which is good for me because I'm young and still learning.

Martinez's talents will only be able to stretch so far, though, unless Everton find ways like Thursday's sponsorship deal to inject funds into the club.

Everton currently sit ninth in the Premier League's record transfers table, with the club's top transfer standing at their £15 million move for Marouane Fellaini, now at Manchester United.

The new deal will hopefully help to boost Martinez's coffers and allow him to bring in more top-class talent to maintain the club's long-term ambitions:

Premier League: Record Signings
1ChelseaFernando Torres£50 million2010/11
2ArsenalMesut Ozil£42.5 million2013/14
3Man CitySergio Aguero£38 million2008/09
4Man UnitedJuan Mata£37.1 million2013/14
5LiverpoolAndy Carroll£35 million2007/08
6Tottenham HotspurErik Lamela£25.8 million2013/14
7Aston VillaDarren Bent£18 million2010/11
8Leeds UnitedRio Ferdinand£18 million2000/01
9EvertonMarouane Fellaini£15 million2008/09
10West HamAndrew Carroll£15 million2013/14

As highlighted on the club's official website, many of the Toffees' top players are on loan, such as Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu, Gareth Barry and Lacina Traore.

Extra money in the pot would help nail down permanent deals for some of the aforementioned players, representing a more sustainable business plan.

The Goodison Park outfit will also be looking to build the team back into Champions League contention, having not qualified for the major tournament since 2006.