West Bromwich Albion’s main sponsor Zoopla has announced that it will end its sponsorship at the end of the current season.
The property website had demanded that Albion drop French striker Nicolas Anelka before yesterday’s Premier League match against Everton (which they didn’t), following his controversial “quenelle” goal celebration against West Ham in December.
It has been claimed that the gesture is anti-Semitic and, as Zoopla is co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, the firm was unhappy to be associated with it.
The two-year £3m deal with Baggies was due to expire this summer with a third year available as option, but Zoopla have said they will not be seeking a renewal of the partnership.
In a statement on Monday, Zoopla announced: “Zoopla has been reviewing its position over the past few weeks in light of the actions of striker, Nicolas Anelka, during the match against West Ham over the Christmas period and has decided to focus its attention on other marketing activities after this season.
“Zoopla has worked closely with the club and the local community throughout its two-season sponsorship, having committed over £100,000 to the Albion Foundation and other local charities, and will continue to meet its obligations for the rest of the current season.
Lawrence Hall, head of communications for Zoopla, said: “Through our sponsorship of West Bromwich Albion we are pleased to have supported the local community and charities.
“In recent weeks, however, we have decided to re-evaluate this sponsorship and as a result we will focus our attention on other marketing activities from the end of the season.”