Manchester United lose £235m shirt deal after TeamViewer investors slam ‘appalling judging’

Manchester United lose £235m shirt deal after TeamViewer investors slam ‘appalling judging’ – GETTY IMAGES

Manchester United are in the hunt for a new shirt sponsor after agreeing to end their £235million partnership with TeamViewer prematurely. The German tech company has come under huge pressure from investors to drop its five-year contract with United after being accused of ‘appalling judgement’ and ‘hubris’.

Months of talks have now led to United and TeamViewer agreeing to end the partnership prematurely in an embarrassing turn of events for both parties. TeamViewer will remain United’s shirt sponsor until the club finds a new partner, after which it will continue as a worldwide partner until the end of its contract in 2026.

United described the development as “mutually beneficial” in a statement on Thursday evening. But they will be looking for a new partner at a time of huge uncertainty over the ownership and direction of the club with the Glazer family looking to sell and in an economically difficult environment.

In a statement, United said: “After a period of collaborative and private discussions over the past few months, Manchester United and TeamViewer AG have entered into a mutually beneficial agreement under which Manchester United will have the option to purchase the rights to the shirt from the club sponsorship before.

“Having entered into its partnership with TeamViewer at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Manchester United will take the opportunity to begin a targeted sales process for a new shirt front partner in a normalized market.

“Once a new Front Shirt Partner has been selected and takes on this role, TeamViewer will continue to be a valued member of Manchester United’s suite of global partners, providing Manchester United with remote connectivity solutions, until ‘at the end of the initial contract term in 2026.’

United’s contract with TeamViewer is their biggest commercial link after their £750m kit deal with Adidas. The club said TeamViewer’s financial commitments would remain “unchanged as long as they remain the club’s shirt partner”, but the terms of the deal would change once a new sponsor was found.

TeamViewer, which specializes in remote access and control software, confirmed in August that it would not be renewing its five-year contract with United, since pressure from investors intensified.

Thursday’s news follows a scathing letter last month from investors Petrus Advisers, who own a nearly 3% stake in the company, accusing TeamViewer of “appalling judgment” over the United deal. It read: “As active investors, we will not tolerate you spending approx. 1.4x your net profit or more than 70 million euros per year on sponsorship deals with Manchester United and Mercedes Formula 1. You are not SAP, Oracle or Mercedes.

Meanwhile, United have announced that capacity for their EFL Cup tie against Burnley at Old Trafford next Wednesday will be reduced from 74,000 to 62,000 due to the unavailability of ambulance service personnel following the industrial action that must take place. Tier Two of the West Stand and Tier Three of the North Stand at Old Trafford will be closed and affected fans will be offered the option of a full refund.

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