English club ditches Russian sponsorship deals
Premier League club Everton say that they have immediately suspended their commercial partnerships with USM, Megafon and Yota following Russia's military offensive in Ukraine, in the what is the latest blow to dealt by the sports world to Russian companies.
The club, who recently appointed Chelsea legend Frank Lampard as their new manager, announced that they will cancel deals linked to Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov who, while not officially linked to the club, has several financial interests in Everton.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is the chairman of USM Holdings, which sponsors the club's training ground.
Usmanov is also understood to have secured exclusive naming rights for Everton's new stadium which is expected to be opened ahead of the 2024-25 Premier League season.
Club Statement:— Everton (@Everton) March 2, 2022
Telecommunications company Megafon, a sponsor of the club's women's team, is also owned by USM. Yota, which is in turn linked to Megafon, is also present on the branding of the women's team's shirts.
"Everyone at Everton remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine," the Premier League side announced in a statement.
"This tragic situation must end as soon as possible, and any further loss of life must be avoided.
"The club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota."
The club also added they they are providing their "full support" to Ukrainian defender Vitaliy Mykolenko, who joined the club from Dynamo Kiev in January.
Lampard, who oversaw his team walking on to the pitch with Ukrainian flags last weekend, said that he supported the club's decision to step away from Russian commercial partnerships.
"The way we behaved last Saturday against Manchester City, I thought we were one of the forerunners of of behaving well, and showing solidarity and unity and in the right way and I think today again is a show of us as a club doing the right thing," he said.
"He will play tomorrow. That was a decision I'd made regardless of the outside situation," Lampard added of Mykolenko ahead of his team's FA Cup clash with Boreham Wood.
"Football can be a relief for him but the conversations I've had I'd rather keep private because they are delicate. He is also a new player here. So many things have happened to him, moving to a different club, city and country and now he has to deal with this.
"So he has all our support on that front."