German football club makes decision on Gazprom logos

German club FC Schalke has issued a statement on Gazprom logos on their jerseys

German club side FC Schalke have announced in a statement that they are to remove all references to Russian energy giant Gazprom from their shirts in protest of the recent launch of military action by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Gelsenkirchen-based team have been commercial partners with the Russian company since 2007 but came under pressure from German tabloid Bild on Wednesday to make a statement against what the newspaper referred to as Russian aggression against Ukraine. 

The publication also announced plans to replace the Gazprom logo with a superimposed image saying ‘Freedom for Ukraine’ in any future editorial coverage of the club.

And referencing the matter in a statement on Thursday, FC Schalke announced that they had discussed the issue with Gazprom Germania, the German subsidiary of the natural gas company, and had agreed to replace the shirt sponsorship with the term ‘Schalke 04’. 

The ’04’ references the club’s founding in 1904.

Mit Blick auf die Ereignisse, Entwicklung und Zuspitzung der vergangenen Tage: #S04 nimmt GAZPROM-Schriftzug von Trikots.

— FC Schalke 04 (@s04) February 24, 2022

“In view of the events, development and escalation of the past few days, FC Schalke 04 has decided to remove the lettering of its main sponsor – ‘Gazprom’ – from the jerseys,” the club wrote in a brief statement.

“This step follows discussions with GAZPROM Germania. Instead, ‘Schalke 04’ will be on the chest of the Royal Blues.”

The move comes after Bild were themselves criticized for perceived political grandstanding after making the editorial decree against the energy company – all while selling Gazprom-branded shirts in the online store on their website.

However, these shirts were pulled from public sale shortly after the issue received attention online.

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