Man Utd’s sponsor AIG are cutting their costs, Newcastle’s supporters club are threatening to boycott club merchandise, but Sir Geoff Hurst’s 1966 World Cup shirt sells at auction.
We reported a few weeks ago that Manchester United sponsors AIG were suffering financial difficulties however a £43 billion loan from the American Government saved the insurance company from a meltdown. Since this development AIG have now embarked on a huge cost cutting exercise and this could indeed spell bad news for both Manchester United and their millions of fans who have purchased the shirt with the AIG logo emblazoned across the front.
Fellow Premiership club Newcastle United have found themselves in a crisis over the past few weeks due to manager Kevin Keegan leaving the team and chairman Mike Ashley being blamed for the problems at the club.' The Tyneside team find themselves perilously close to the bottom of the table and now the supporters are planning a boycott of club merchandise, especially the Adidas manufactured shirts, in an attempt to force Ashley out of the club. The newly-formed Newcastle United Supporters Club (NUSC) issued an ultimatum to the club’s main backers Northern Rock and kit supplier Adidas to sever their business relationship with Ashley. The organisation claims a financial attack on the billionaire sports tycoon is the best way for fans to end his time at St James’s Park. And they say if the club sponsors and advertisers fail to respond they will boycott buying their merchandise and using their services.
A statement released by the NUSC organisation said:
What is clear is that Mike Ashley is not acting quickly enough to end his disastrous relationship with our club. The NUSC, with a fast growing membership, will soon be writing to the club’s main sponsors and advertisers to request that they end their business relationship with a Mike Ashley-owned Newcastle United. If the nightmare scenario of an Ashley-owned Newcastle United continues to next summer, then we will organise a highly visible and energetic campaign amongst supporters to boycott any new kit and merchandise being sold by Adidas.
Whilst the sponsors suffer numerous problems, the shirt memorabilia market proved it still remains lucrative with the shirt Geoff Hurst wore in the 1966 World Cup final being sold at auction. The shirt, symbolic for England fans, returned to the home of English football Wembley Stadium on Saturday for the game versus Kazakhstan. Insured for an incredible £1,000,000, property investor Andrew Leslau, who fronted the consortium of collectors behind the purchase, said “This is the most important shirt in English football history – not just the most valuable and most expensive in the world.”
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By James Bailey