Chelsea Football Club has split from its sponsor, the Coors lager brand owned by Scottish Courage, and is looking for a new name to carry on its shirts.
Sources close to the deal say that Chelsea had wanted to double its revenue from the deal. The contract is understood to be worth about 5m to Chelsea over three years.
Both parties had been negotiating to renew the deal since the start of September but last week Scottish & Newcastle told the club it was free to seek other sponsors for its shirts.
The three-year sponsorship ends in May.
A spokesman for Scottish Courage claims: “The link has been very successful and has given us a high profile. But we thought the time was right to end the deal.”
Sources close to the brewer thought that Chelsea had not given the brand a high enough presence.
The brewery also sponsors Newcastle United with Newcastle Brown Ale, which they believe has a much higher profile.
A spokeswoman for the club’s managing director, Colin Hutchinson, will only say: “The confidentiality clause in our agreement precludes us from saying anything about this.”
Scottish Courage says it is “highly unlikely” that it will get back into football sponsorship.
The brewer’s spokesman adds: “We thought long and hard about this but we will now put our resources into other areas of sponsorship. We will certainly maintain marketing support for the brand.”