Everton FC has suspended all sponsorships with Russian companies with immediate effect, which includes USM, Megafon and Yota, due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Premier League side has stated that it will remove all advertisements which relate to USM, whilst Megafon will now be rebranded – the Russian phone operator which sponsors the club’s women’s shirts.
It was also made sure that any of these brands were taken away from upcoming match programmes. The club release stated: “Everyone at Everton remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine.
“This tragic situation must end as soon as possible, and any further loss of life must be avoided. The players, coaching staff and everyone working at Everton is providing full support to our player Vitalii Mykolenko and his family and will continue to do so.”
This week, Labour MP Chris Bryant urged Everton to cut ties with billionaire Alisher Usmanov, and last week said Roman Abramovich’s assets should also be seized.
Bryant stated: “Alisher Usmanov has already been sanctioned by the EU but not yet by the UK. But I suspect he will be pretty soon on a UK list and Everton should certainly be cutting ties with him already.”
“Roman Abramovich – well, I think he is terrified of being sanctioned which is why he is already going to sell his home tomorrow and sell another flat as well. My anxiety is that we are taking too long about these things.”
Frank Lampard, Everton’s Manager, stated in a recent press conference that he had ‘absolute faith’ that the club would make the correct decision in regards to such Russian partnerships.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to affect European sports organisations and their partnership links with the country. For example, it was recently announced that Manchester United terminated its sponsorship agreement with Russian Airlines, Aeroflot.
Furthemore, FIFA and UEFA also made the decision to ban all Russian football teams, both national representatives or clubs, from participation in the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Whilst such teams are also suspended from both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice, the announcement was adopted by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA.