UEFA are in discussions to end their long-standing sponsorship deal with Gazprom following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to The Guardian, UEFA are set to terminate their £66 million sponsorship agreement with Russian state energy company Gazprom after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
This move comes after the European football’s governing body announced that they had decided to move the UEFA Champions League final from Russia to France.
As for the agreement with Gazprom, UEFA entered the partnership in 2012, with the deal being worth £33.2 million per season (€40 million). At the moment, there are still two years left on the agreement after the two parties signed a three-year extension in 2021.
However, following Vladimir Putin’s order to invade Ukraine, UEFA have decided to terminate the lucrative agreement with Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the Russian government.
Before UEFA’s move, German outfit FC Schalke 04 acted swiftly to remove the Gazprom logo from their team shirts after the invasion. The second-tier club have been sponsored by the Russian energy giants since 2007, but decided to act amidst the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
ℹ️ Following recent developments, FC Schalke 04 have decided to remove the logo of main sponsor GAZPROM from the club's shirts. It will be replaced by lettering reading ‘Schalke 04’ instead.#S04 pic.twitter.com/9kpJLRzTQ7
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) February 24, 2022
Schalke said in a club statement: “Schalke will monitor further developments, evaluate them and make a strong appeal for peace to protect those affected by the crisis. Those responsible for the club are in constant dialogue with the long-standing main sponsor … without question the club is committed to peace and peaceful coexistence.”
Manchester United also terminated their sponsorship deal with Aeroflot in the aftermath of the invasion. Apart from moving the Champions League final to Paris, UEFA have also decided that no matches in the remainder of the season will be held in Russia or Ukraine amidst the crisis.
Regarding the deal with Gazprom, the termination of the agreement would mean that the company’s advertisement boards will not be on display at any of the stadia moving forward, while television ads will also not be shown anymore.
An official announcement regarding this is yet to be made, but UEFA are in negotiations with their lawyers to end the partnership, which would lead to a big financial hit for the governing body.