West Brom shirt sponsor threatens to walk away if Nicolas Anelka plays in wake of 'quenelle' row
Friday 17 January 2014
West Bromwich Albion's shirt sponsor, property search website Zoopla, has reportedly threatened to cancel its deal with the club over Nicolas Anelka's controversial "quenelle" goal celebration.
Marketing Week magazine claimed sources close to the company, which is co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, had informed Albion that should Anelka play against Everton on Monday night then it would cancel the shirt deal with immediate effect.
The magazine also cites sources at the club saying that Albion will not allow any sponsor to make pronouncements on team selection and is already lining up alternative commercial partners should Zoopla, which paid Albion £3m in 2012 to carry its logo on their shirt, follow through with the threat.
A spokesman for the club said: "West Bromwich Albion will be making no further comment until the Football Association has concluded its investigation, and the club its own internal enquiry, into the matter."
Richard Garlick, Albion's sporting and technical director, had earlier urged the Football Association to deliver a swift resolution to the investigation into Anelka's controversial salute. With the threat of a ban hanging over the striker for his celebration during the match at West Ham on 28 December, Albion want the matter decided quickly to give them time to seek a possible replacement for the Frenchman before the transfer window closes.
Garlick said: "It would help everybody for that investigation to be over as soon as possible. The FA have given their statement about how quickly they hope to conclude that."
As reported by The Independent on Thursday, Jewish organisations are becoming increasingly frustrated by the FA's silence on Anelka's actions.
Leading Jewish group the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors anti-Semitism and security matters, said: "There is growing frustration and incomprehension at how long this is taking. The CST would like the FA to be more open about the specifics of their investigation, wanting a clear explanation of the process and the timescale. The lack of transparency and the lack of an explanation is not helping."
The FA, which is seeking advice on the complexities of the case from an "appointed expert", said earlier this week that it would make no further comment on the matter until Monday at the earliest.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove