Manchester United lose £235m shirt deal after TeamViewer investors slam ‘appalling judgement’

December 16, 2022

While United claims the development is “mutually beneficial” it adds further uncertainty as the Glazer family tries to sell the club.

Manchester United are looking for a new shirt sponsor after agreeing to bring an early end to their £235 million partnership with TeamViewer. The German technology company has come under huge pressure from investors to scrap their five-year contract with United after being accused of “appalling judgement” and “hubris”.

Months of talks have now led to United and TeamViewer agreeing to halt the partnership prematurely in an embarrassing turn of events for both parties. TeamViewer will remain as United’s shirt sponsor until the club find a new partner, after which they will continue as a global partner until the end of their contract in 2026.

United described the development as “mutually beneficial” in a statement released on Thursday night. But they will be searching for a new partner at a time of huge uncertainty over the ownership and direction of the club with the Glazer family looking to sell and in an economically challenging environment.

In a statement, United said: “After a period of collaborative, private discussions over the past months, Manchester United and TeamViewer AG have reached a mutually-beneficial agreement under which Manchester United shall have the option to buy back the rights to the club’s shirt front sponsorship.

Having agreed its partnership with TeamViewer at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Manchester United will be taking the opportunity to commence a focused sales process for a new shirt front partner in a normalised market.

“Once a new shirt front partner is selected and takes on this role, TeamViewer will continue as a valued member of Manchester United’s suite of global partners, providing Manchester United with remote connectivity solutions, until the end of the original contract term in 2026.”

United’s contract with TeamViewer is their biggest commercial tie in after their £750m kit arrangement with Adidas. The club said TeamViewer’s financial commitments would remain “unchanged whilst they remain the club’s shirt front partner” but that the terms of the deal would alter once a new sponsor was found.

TeamViewer, which specialises in remote access and remote control computer software, confirmed in August that they would not be renewing their five-year contract with United, since when pressure from investors intensified.

Thursday’s news comes in the wake of a scathing letter last month from investors Petrus Advisers, who hold a near three per cent stake in the company, accusing TeamViewer of “appalling judgement” over the deal with United. It read: “As active investors we will not tolerate that you spend ca. 1.4x your net profit or over €70 million per year on sponsorship contracts with Manchester United and Mercedes Formula 1. You are not SAP, Oracle or Mercedes.”

Meanwhile, United have announced that capacity for their EFL Cup tie against Burnley at Old Trafford next Wednesday will be reduced from 74,000 to 62,000 due to the unavailability of ambulance service personnel as a result of the industrial action due to take place. West Stand tier two and North Stand tier three at Old Trafford will be closed with fans affected offered the option of full refunds..