EPL club Everton suspend sponsorship deals with Russian companies

In the wake of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, English Premier League (EPL) club Everton has immediately suspended all the commercial and sponsorship activities with Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota.

Meanwhile, the club has also decided to remove signage of all three companies and messaging relating to USM, owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, around the club and the training ground. Notably, Megafon was sponsoring the club’s women’s shirts and after this it be rebranded.

Issuing a statement, the club said: “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,” added the statement.

On the other hand, Everton manager Frank Lampard also addressed on the issue of Usmanov’s involvement in the club by revealing that the Russian billionaire was not part of the process to hire him as head coach, which had happened at the end of January.

Also, Lampard defended the club’s actions ever since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last week and highlighted Everton’s tribute to Ukraine before Saturday’s Premier League tie with Manchester City as a good example of the club’s work.

“Those reports are inaccurate,” Lampard was quoted as saying by Skysports, when asked if Usmanov played a role in his hiring.

“My interview was with with the board, with Mr (Farhad) Moshiri, the chairman (Bill Kenwright), Denise (Barrett-Baxendale) the CEO and others – but not Mr Usmanov. So that’s not accurate in that sense,” he added.

The development comes after Labour MP Chris Bryant told the Toffees to end their involvement with Usmanov, who is not officially involved with Everton, but whose USM firm sponsored the club’s training ground.

Significantly, 68-year-old Usmanov on Monday had his assets frozen by the European Union in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier, Usmanov had released a statement on Tuesday via the International Fencing Federation where he was president since 2008 which had said: “On 28 February 2022, I became the target of restrictive measures imposed by the European Union. I believe that such a decision is unfair, and the reasons employed to justify the sanctions are a set of false and defamatory allegations damaging my honour, dignity, and business reputation.”

News Desk

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