Manchester United have missed out on a lucrative £200m training kit deal stretching over the next ten years, after proposed sponsors The Hut Group revoked their contract agreement over concerns regarding the unrest between supporters and the Glazers.
The Manchester-based company was set to collaborate with the Red Devils from this summer, but fans’ protests against the Glazer family, which include a plan to boycott any of the club’s commercial partners, have seen them perform a U-turn.
According to The Observer, Richard Arnold, Man Utd’s group managing director, was informed on Friday of THG’s decision to pull out of their contract, which was due to start on July 1.
The logo of Myprotein, a company owned by THG, was going to be emblazoned across the club’s training kits from next season, replacing current sponsors AON. But the fans’ determination to rebel against their owners, the Glazers, has hit the Americans in their pocket once again.
THG have backed out after an anonymous Man Utd fans group with the hashtag ‘NOTAPENNYMORE’ began a campaign urging supporters to boycott any of the club’s major commercial partners.
THG, a company based near Manchester Airport, was surprised by the extreme reaction and felt vulnerable to these protests, given their close proximity to the heart of Greater Manchester. As a result, they have decided to cancel their partnership on the eve of the new deal.
This news comes only a week after Man Utd supporters staged a huge protest ahead of the Red Devils’ clash with Liverpool, which eventually caused the match to be postponed. Fans blocked the team coach from leaving the hotel, and stormed the pitch to send a message to their owners.
The club has since announced intentions to try and improve communication between the supporters and its owners, but this particular bridge appears too burned to be salvaged. This dissatisfaction all came to a head when the Glazers attempted to enter Man Utd into the European Super League, a decision which enraged passionate supporters.