Everton Suspend Sponsorship Agreements With Russian Billionaire Usmanov
English Premier League club Everton on Wednesday said they had “suspended with immediate effect” sponsorship agreements with several companies in which Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has a stake, following 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,” said an Everton statement.
Uzbek-born Usmanov’s USM Holdings sponsors Everton’s training ground, with an initial five-year deal announced in 2017.
It also has an option on naming rights for the Toffees’ new stadium — a deal worth £30 million ($40 million) to the Merseyside club.
The 68-year-old Usmanov, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had already had his assets frozen by the European Union as part of sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Everton added they were “shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine,” as they called for a “tragic situation” to end as soon as possible.
The Toffees have an Ukrainian player in Vitalli Myolenko, with their statement saying they were providing the defender and his family with our “full support” and “will continue to do so”.
An update in the Official Journal of the European Union said Usmanov, a long-time business partner of Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, was among the 26 individuals targeted with sanctions on Monday.