By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 25 February 2022 • 14:48
Premier league football club Manchester United have in response to the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia, announced that they will sever ties with sponsors Aeroflot.
A statement posted by the club says: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.
“We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.”
Aeroflot’s deal with Manchester United was due to expire in the coming year but the Old Trafford team announced on Friday that they were ending the deal early. The decision to sever ties comes on the back of pressure from fans and the news that Aeroflot has been banned from flying to the United Kingdom by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Aeroflot had been United’s official carrier since 2013 but United opted to use a different airline for their Champions League trip to Spain to face Atletico Madrid this week, the club being fearful of a backlash from investors because of its ties with the Russian airline.
US President Joe Biden also announced more sanctions and it is understood that they club does not want to fall foul of any government policy, the club being listed on the New York stock exchange.
Prior to reversing its decision, the club had earlier in the week said: “The club does not take positions on geopolitical issues.
“Our commercial partnership agreements are between Manchester United and the brands involved, not with any individual owner or related parties,” the club said before apparently reversing their stance.
“In relation to the specific situation referred to in your email, we hope you can understand that, as a football club with fans from many different countries and cultures, Manchester United does not take positions on geopolitical issues.”
It is thought that the sponsorship deal is worth around £35 million (36 million euros) a year to the club, although as it moves to sever ties with Aeroflot it is not expected to be out of pocket with numerous potential sponsors waiting in the wings.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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