Everton Football Club has announced it has suspended “with immediate effect” all sponsorship arrangements with Russian companies USM, MegaFon and Yota.
The owner of USM and its affiliated companies, Alisher Usmanov, has recently been sanctioned and had his assets frozen by the European Union. Usmanov was named as an oligarch with links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has been sanctioned amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
USM Holdings was the sponsor of USM Finch Farm, Everton FC’s training ground, and made a £30m one-off payment in 2020 to become the naming-rights partner for the club’s stadium which is currently under construction at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Russian smartphone company Yota, part of the mobile phone operator MegaFon group of which Usmanov is the majority shareholder, sponsors Everton women.
It is understood the club is working to remove any USM, MegaFon and Yota branding, advertising and any logos such as branding on the shirt sleeves.
The club said in a statement that it was “shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine”.
It added: “The players, coaching staff and everyone working at Everton is providing full support to our player Vitalii Mykolenko and his family and will continue to do so.”