EPL club Everton halts sponsorship by sanctioned Russian

Mar 2, 2022, 5:55 AM | Updated: 7:30 am
Everton players hold Ukrainian flags before the English Premier League soccer match between Everton...

Everton players hold Ukrainian flags before the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

(AP Photo/Jon Super)

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton decided Wednesday to halt its major sponsorship with companies belonging to Alisher Usmanov, the Russian metals tycoon who has been sanctioned by the European Union.

The move came in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota,” Everton said in a short statement.

They are Usmanov’s companies, with USM having sponsored Everton’s training facility since 2017.

Usmanov, who is a long-time business partner of the club’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, paid Everton 30 million pounds ($40 million) in January 2020 to secure an exclusive option on naming rights for its proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock that is scheduled to be completed by 2023.

Everton manager Frank Lampard, who joined the club last month, said the decision to suspend its sponsorship deals with Usmanov’s companies was “a show of us, as a club, doing the right thing.”

“If it feels right for the club, then it’s the right thing to do,” Lampard said. “At the moment, we are seeing it done very regularly across the world.”

Everton has a Ukrainian player, Vitalii Mykolenko, in its squad and Lampard said the left back will play a part in the team’s match against fifth-tier Boreham Wood in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday.

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EPL club Everton halts sponsorship by sanctioned Russian