Man Utd chief Richard Arnold makes brutal decision after Russia invades Ukraine
In pictures: Atletico Madrid v Man Utd
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Manchester United have decided to drop their sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot after the nation invaded Ukraine on Thursday morning, according to reports. The airline have been one of the club’s major sponsors since 2013. Yet Richard Arnold has now decided not to renew a deal.
On Thursday, Russian troops started to invade Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ at dawn, despite warnings from world leaders that it could trigger the biggest war in Europe since 1945.
Russia have started to drop explosives on Ukraine, with harrowing footage showing the country under attack.
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba labelled the action as a ‘war of aggression’, saying: “Putin has just launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“Peaceful Ukrainian cities are under strikes. This is a war of aggression.
“Ukraine will defend itself and will win. The world can and must stop Putin. The time to act is now.”
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And in the wake of the ongoing situation, the Daily Star report United have decided to ditch their sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot.
In 2017, they extended their deal with the operators – which was worth around £40million.
Yet with their current agreement due to expire in April, new United chief Arnold reportedly has no intention of renewing it.
Normally, United would have jetted out to Spain for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid with Aeroflot.
However, they flew out using alternative airline Titan instead.
United are now contemplating another airline to use for matches in future, with Qatar Airways mentioned as being one option.
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The Red Devils know that, if they stuck with their current Russian carriers, it would be damaging to their image and commercial appeal.
And the Glazers would face ‘serious consequences’ if the United States decide to issue sanctions against Russian companies, such as Aeroflot, because it would mean they’d be banned from entering the country.
United’s nine-year partnership with Aeroflot has been worth around £100m.
And who they go for next, to bring them to and from matches in the future, remains to be seen.
United don’t currently have any Russian or Ukrainian players in their first-team squad.
But sporting figures have been quick to react to the invasion over the past 24 hours.
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Former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko said: “Ukraine is my motherland!
“I have always been proud of my people and my country!
“We have gone through many difficult times, and over the past 30 years we have formed as a nation!
“A nation of sincere, hard-working and freedom-loving citizens! This is our most important asset!”
Manchester City and Ukraine star Oleksandr Zinchenko, meanwhile, had an Instagram post deleted by the social media giants that was aimed at Putin.
“I hope you die the most painful suffering death, creature,” he said.
The 25-year-old wing-back also shared another post on Instagram which said: “Russians, is it nice for you to wake up in fascist Germany?
“Any Russian who has not expressed his opinion loudly now will be considered an enemy forever.”
That came after he’d said on Wednesday: “My country. The country where I was born and raised.
“A country whose colours I defend in the international sports arena. A country that we try to glorify and develop.
“A country whose borders must remain inviolable. My country belongs to Ukrainians and no one will ever be able to appropriate it.
“We will not give up! Glory to Ukraine.”
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