The future of Charlton Athletic Football Club’s relationship with shirt sponsor Allsports has been thrown into doubt following the sporting-goods retailer’s financial difficulties.
The four-year deal, which is worth several million pounds, expires at the end of this season and sources say it is unlikely to be renewed after a breakdown in relations.
It was reported earlier this month that Allsports was forced to negotiate new agreements with its lenders after a collapse in trading left it close to breaching banking covenants.
The loss-making group, which is backed by 3i, has been looking for a new owner. It is thought to have sounded out a number of potential buyers, which were put off by the &£50m asking price.
Sales at the chain, which operates about 240 stores in the UK, slumped by 35 per cent earlier this year. Allsports reported a loss, after dividend payments, of &£1.2m to the end of January 2004.
Charlton Athletic won its first two games of the season. A spokesman declines to comment on the relationship, but says: “If both parties feel that four years is enough then we will be looking for a new sponsor at the end of this season.”
Allsports could not be reached for comment as Marketing Week went to press.