Sheffield United kit makers and sportswear giant Adidas says its sponsorship is with the club and not Ched Evans, in the wake of the row which has caused two shirt sponsors to threaten to pull out of their deals.
The Star contacted the firm after the Blades’ main shirt sponsors, John Holland Sales and DBL Logistics, both warned they could pull out if Evans is signed again by the club.
But Adidas, which supplies the club with its kits and manufactures replica shirts in a deal which began at the start of this season, said it ‘does not condone’ Evans behaviour.
The firm also said it is up to the manager and the club’s board to make decisions on player signings.
A spokesman for Adidas said: “Adidas does not condone Ched Evans’ past behaviour or the crime for which he has been convicted.
“We would like to make it absolutely clear that our relationship is with Sheffield United and not with the player involved – we do not sponsor Ched Evans and never have done.”
The signing of new players is at the discretion of the manager and the club’s board.”
Back-of-the-shirt sponsors DBL Logistics said in no uncertain terms that it will end its deal with United if the club re-remploys ‘a convicted rapist’.
Main shirt sponsors John Holland Sales also said it would rethink its position if Evans signs for the club again.
The row comes after Sheffield United allowed Ched Evans to train with the club at the request of the Professional Footballers Association, though the club insists it is not yet ready to make a decision on signing the player.
Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.
The Welsh striker denied rape, saying the sex was consensual, but he was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.
The Star Editor’s opinon: No way back for Ched Evans