MBNA International Bank, the US credit card company, is taking legal action against Barnsley Football Club in a row over the launch of a credit card.
The bank has issued a High Court writ against the South Yorkshire club to force it to pay damages for an alleged breach of contract originating in October 1996.
The football club was relegated last season to the first division after only one season in the Premier League.
MBNA, which markets cards for over 450 affinity groups in the UK, has asked the court for an injunction to stop Barnsley FC “from sponsoring, advertising, aiding or developing any credit card programme offered by the Bank of Scotland or any third party at any time during the term of the Agreement”.
Barnsley FC and MBNA refused to comment.
Alex Steven, director of affinities at Bank of Scotland, confirms that a marketing group, Trans-national Financial Services, had talks with Barnsley FC on behalf of the Bank of Scotland.
“We do not have a scheme in place with Barnsley FC. An approach was made through our marketing group, Transnational, but as soon as we found out there was another contract we pulled back from negotiations,” adds Steven.
The Bank of Scotland supplies affinity cards to the fans of 41 football clubs, including Arsenal and Blackburn. It claims to have paid out a total of 12m to the 500 affinity groups on its books.