Everton have confirmed their decision to sever ties with Russian sponsors USM, Megafon and Yota following Alisher Usmanov’s sanction.
In an official statement, Everton have declared their decision to cut ties with Russian sponsors amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine that has left the world in shock. The club urged to end the ongoing atrocity in Ukraine and, in response, have severed connections with its Russian sponsors: USM, Megafon and Yota.
All the three companies have one name in common: Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire who was recently sanctioned by the EU for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Usmanov was an outspoken supporter of Putin and was a pro-Kremlin figure, thus leading to his assets being frozen by the European Union.
“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. The Club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota,” read the official statement from Everton.
🚨 Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who had close ties to Everton, has had his 512-foot yacht seized by German authorities in Hamburg.
(Source: Forbes) pic.twitter.com/PaZVwEnCgk
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) March 2, 2022
USM is a holding company of Usmanov, which had embarked on a partnership with Everton over the naming rights of the club’s training ground, Finch Farm. Megafon is a telecommunication giant in Russia, with Usmanov being the majority stakeholder. It used to be one of the main sponsors of the Everton women’s team, along with sister brand, Yota.
Everton’s decision to cut ties with their Russian sponsors is the latest among a series of sanctions Russian companies or billionaires have faced across the footballing world over the past week or so. Chelsea’s glorified owner Roman Abramovich’s decision to sell the club attracted the headlines, whereas Schalke cutting ties with Gazprom has also been quite significant.
Even Manchester United have cut ties with Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline, while FIFA and UEFA have jointly banned the Russian national teams and clubs from competing in international and continental football as part of the fierce sanctions against the Vladimir Putin regime.