English Premier League club, Manchester United has put an end to a 10-year partnership with their official team carrier, Aeroflot, amidst Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian state-owned airline first teamed up to become Manchester United’s official team carrier in 2003. Their commercial agreement was renewed in 2017 in a deal worth around £40 million for six years.
The deal still had 18 months to run, but in light of the happenings in Ukraine, it was cut short.
What Manchester United is saying about the suspension of Aeroflot deal
Manchester United confirmed the termination in a club statement which reads as follows:
“In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.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.”
The club’s flight with Aeroflot for their Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid where they drew 1-1 was cancelled hours before Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. However, the team flew to the Spanish Capital with Titan Airways which is UK based.
Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson issued a ban on Aeroflot operating in the UK on Thursday following the invasion.
The club is already organising the removal of Aeroflot’s branding from Old Trafford – where the airline’s name is painted across the car park behind the Stretford End – with work set to start as soon as possible, according to Daily Mail.
According to reports, the Manchester giants are now on the lookout for other official airline partnerships, with Qatar Airways being linked with them the most.
What you should know
- Other clubs, such as German side Schalke, are also ending their association with Russian companies and they are no longer sponsored by Gazprom, Russian state-owned energy company.
- The UEFA executive committee held an emergency meeting on Friday and decided to move the Champions League final already scheduled to hold in St Petersburg on May 28 to Stade de France, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- UEFA’s executive committee also said Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions will be required to play their home matches at neutral venues until further notice.