Saturday February 24th, 2001
Bookmakers Eurobet confirmed on Saturday that they have withdrawn their sponsorship of the Arrows team, with immediate effect.
Online bookmakers Eurobet are believed to have withdrawn after reportedly making losses of over £50 million (pounds) last year.
According to reports in Britain, Eurobet will be followed out of Arrows by fellow sponsors Cello, who are believed to have withdrawn their backing.
Eurobet entered Formula One with the aim of rapidly building their brand name, but they have decided to now concentrate their efforts more on recruitment of betting clients.
"It was our biggest deal," said Eurobet's Simon Clare. "But it's an extraordinarily expensive sport. We achieved what we wanted to, and are now re-focusing on ground activity."
Eurobet's sponsorship agreement with Arrows, which began last year, was originally for three years, and the shortening of the deal will come as a blow to the team.
"We had an exit clause after year one," explained Clare. "And we sent the team a letter in October to inform them we would not continue."
However, Clare denied their departure from Formula One was related to the company's poor performance last year.
"The growth of the Internet side is phenomenal and although we didn't show a profit last year, the company is fundamentally in very good shape."
Eurobet's departure, along with the reported exit of Cello, is believed to have cost the team £32 million (pounds) in lost sponsorship, but they have retained their title sponsor Orange.
The team has put new sponsorship deals in place to replace some of the lost funding, and will announce the deals at their commercial launch in Melbourne on March 1st