March 1 – UEFA has ended its 12-year sponsorship with Russian energy giant Gazprom with immediate effect. The announcement was made on the same day that UEFA banned Russian teams from its competitions.
Gazprom were paying UEFA €40 million per season in a sponsorship that began in 2012 and has been renewed every three years. The current deal was to stretch to the end of the 2024 European championship. The financial knock-on effect will be greater with the energy giant activating media spend, often with UEFA’s broadcast partners, around the sponsorships.
In a short statement the European governing body said: “UEFA has today decided to end its partnership with Gazprom across all competitions.
“The decision is effective immediately and covers all existing agreements including the UEFA Champions League, UEFA national team competitions and UEFA EURO 2024.”
UEFA’s announcement came at the same time that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who sold 73% of energy company Sibneft to Gazprom, was rumoured to be talking to Russian president Vladimir Putin about brokering a peace deal. The rumour was not confirmed.
Last week German club Schalke 04 removed the Gazprom logo from the club’s main shirt sponsorship position after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The club has had Gazprom as a sponsor since 2007. Schalke also said that Matthias Warnig, a Gazprom representative on the club’s supervisory board, would step back from his role.
Warnig is the CEO of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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