United Distillers has pulled its Bell’s whisky brand out of the sponsorship of the Scottish Football League because it feels that football north of the border is in disarray.
UD signed a four-year deal with the League in 1994, worth 6m, which covered all 40 participating clubs but it has decided not to renew this sponsorship at the end of the season. All four divisions of the league are currently known as the Bell’s League Championship.
The decision follows news last month that the league’s Premier Division clubs intend to break away to form a separate body, which will negotiate its own sponsorship and TV deals.
UD UK marketing director Andy Neal says: “Major organisations such as our own, with clear strategies, cannot – and will not – commit millions of pounds to projects which do not have similar consistency in direction. We feel we must make everyone aware that we are unable to commit to a renewal of involvement.”
Until the split came, UD was believed to have been in talks with the League about a further four-year sponsorship for 10m.