Manchester United has announced the termination of its sponsorship agreement with Russian Airlines, Aeroflot, following the escalating conflict in Ukraine.
In a statement, the Premier League side stated: “In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.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.”
It was reported that on Friday, a season ticket holder wrote to the club looking for clarification on the sponsorship, which was originally formed in 2013 and renewed four years later by club CEO Richard Arnold.
The response from Manchester United stated: “Our commercial partnership agreements are between Manchester United and the brands involved, not with any individual owner or related parties.
“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.”
UK flights to and over Russia have now also been stopped by the country’s civil aviation authority in retaliation for a ban on Aeroflot in UK airports.
Moreover, the Aeroflot contract termination sees UEFA come under increasing pressure to follow suit in cutting its ties with Gazprom, a Russian state energy company. The firm is mainly owned by the country’s government and is one of the Champions League’s main partners.
Furthermore, UEFA has revealed that it is relocating the Champions League final from St Petersburg in Russia in regards to the situation in the country. Previously due to take Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg on 28 May, it is now unclear whether the governing body will confirm a new venue.
Other events in the country are being cancelled such as Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix, and FIS’s remaining World Cup events that are scheduled to take place until the end of the 2021-22 season.