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Manchester United terminate deal with Russian sponsor amid the tensions in Ukraine

Manchester United have cancelled their massive £40million sponsorship deal with Russian airline Aeroflot.

The move is in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and comes after United flew to Madrid on Tuesday with Titan Airways.

A United Spokesperson said: ‘In light of events in Ukraine, we have withdrawn Aeroflot’s sponsorship rights.

‘We share the concerns of our fans around the world and extend our sympathies to those affected.’

The team had a longstanging commercial agreement having first linked up with the Russian company in 2013 but have now severed ties.

United’s deal with Aeroflot was renewed in 2017 to the tune of £40m and was due to expire in 2023. Aeroflot is the national airline of and flies to 146 destinations across 52 countries.

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In addition to flying the United stars all over the world, Aeroflot also provided the club with travel and logistical advice but United are now in the market for a new flight partner, with Qatar Airways under consideration.

United banked in the region of £100m in total from their nine-year association with Aeroflot.

Interestingly, United’s share price dropped following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and it was speculated that it could have been down to their association with Aeroflot.

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As of Thurday, in two weeks the share price had fallen from $14.08 a share to $13.10, a dip of seven per cent.

United will hope that the end of their partnership with Aeroflot will at least arrest the share price decline. Other clubs, such as German side Schalke, are also ending their association with Russian companies and they are no longer sponsored by Gazprom.

Their decision is the latest as a direct result of the Russian invasion and earlier it was decided that this year’s Champions League final will no longer be held in Russia.

It has been moved to Paris after UEFA confirmed St Petersburg will no longer play host.

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Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday with troops attacking the country from the north, east and south, inflicting enormous damage to military installations and civilian casualties.

Four Premier League clubs remain in the competition at the last-16 stage with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City taking leads into next month’s second leg ties and Manchester United level with Atletico Madrid.

Paris’ Stade de France, which last held the Champions League final 16 years ago when Barcelona beat Arsenal, will now hold the showpiece event.