By Lorne Caplan
Director of Content
When money is tight, people find support wherever they can
While our economy in the United States isn't in great shape, the unemployment rate that is nationally under 8% is a far lower level than what is currently going on in Greece. So while American companies still have some access to capital and alternative forms of debt and financing, companies in Greece aren't in any position to be able to find financing.
The economic difficulties that the entire Greek nation is suffering through, have touched every aspect of their society. We here in the United States don't understand the depths of the recession that they are suffering there and while we may not have much sympathy for their excessive spending on public services, inability to collect taxes and highly corrupt political machinery, we can certainly sympathize with many who are caught-up in the economic tsunami.
One organization has found an alternative way to get themselves funded that has brought about substantial soul searching and not just a little bit of vitriol and finger pointing. You see, football (Soccer here in the US) is a very important sport in Europe and especially Greece, so to fold a club because sponsors cancel relationships and there is no money, would be anathema. Most clubs would do all that they could to support the football club, including the fans who in these difficult times could use their club to lift their spirits. So where did the Voukefalas club get it's funding? Was it from a jam factory like others in the league? Perhaps a funeral parlor, kebab shop or a feta cheese factory? Non of these are that unusual for an amateur league, especially one going through difficult times, but what this one club did, was raise some eyebrows.
So what's wrong with being sponsored by a Brothel?
You see, their sponsors, two bordellos, has the team wearing pink shirts with the logo Villa Erotica emblazoned on it. That in and of itself would have the puritan minded American population up in arms, but in Greece, Bordellos are legal. They pay taxes and are monitored by the health administration. The team just had some of the right contacts and made the deal.
The owner of one bordello, Soula's House of History, Soula Alevridou noted that she didn't really need any advertising, but felt it was her civic duty to help out in any way she can. While there is some resistance to the wearing of the shirts with the sponsors name, some of the professional clubs get away with other less than pristine sponsorship (such as alcohol) because they don't sell the shirts in children's sizes. The match seems to be one of necessity and ultimately business is business, whether it involves the sex industry or not.Various religions and societies have tried to eradicate the sex industry in a manner of ways and it always seems to survive. In this case, it seems to be a blessing for one Greek football club and perhaps will open the door for other more traditional business practices for Soula's business as well as others in Europe. After-all, we've seen former strippers run for Italy's parliament, as mayoral candidates and in other European countries, sex workers seem to be more mainstream, rather than working in the shadows.