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25 Feb, 2022 12:49

Manchester United sever ties with Aeroflot

Manchester United have ditched their sponsorship with Aeroflot in light of the Russian military action in Ukraine
Manchester United sever ties with Aeroflot

Premier League giants Manchester United have ended their commercial partnership with Russian airliner Aeroflot "in light of the events in Ukraine." 

The club's sponsorship with Aeroflot was due to expire in the coming year but the Old Trafford team announced on Friday that they were ending the deal early, following news that that Aeroflot has been banned from flying to the United Kingdom by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights," the club said in a statement.

"We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected." 

Aeroflot had been the club'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.

With Manchester United listed on the New York Stock Exchange, reports indicate that the club may have been fearful of becoming entangled in the list of sanctions announced by US President Joe Biden on Thursday.

As noted by the Manchester Evening News, a season ticket holder contacted the club early on Friday to protest the club's links with Aeroflot but was told in a reply that 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."

After the initial deal in 2013, Manchester United renewed the sponsorship in 2015 and again in 2017, and it was thought to be worth around $40 million per annum to the Old Trafford club.