London Irish say Diageo ending 30-year sponsorship over Paddy Jackson signing is 'regretful'

London Irish say Diageo ending 30-year sponsorship over Paddy Jackson signing is 'regretful'
Paddy Jackson

Diageo has cancelled its sponsorship of London Irish Rugby Club over concerns at the signing of Paddy Jackson.

The drinks company say signing the former Ulster and Ireland out-half is not consistent with their values.

27-year-old Jackson who was acquitted of rape last year signed for the club last month.

The global drinks giant makes some of the worlds biggest brands including Guinness.

They are now the second sponsor to cancel their contract with the club.

Cash Converters ended its sponsorship in recent weeks.

However, the club argued the decision to end the deal was not specifically related to Jackson's signing.

In a short statement, Diageo confirmed they have ended their 30-year relationship with London Irish after a meeting to express their concerns.

"We have met with the club to express our concerns," the company said.

Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship.

In a statement this evening, London Irish said its management is “understandably disappointed that Diageo has chosen not to renew its sponsorship agreement with the club, and particularly the manner in which the company has chosen to do so”.

The club has always respected the right for everyone to have an opinion, and their right to express that opinion.

“London Irish has been open and honest with all of its sponsors, including offering to meet Diageo’s senior management in Dublin in May 2019. This offer was not taken up.”

“London Irish will be moving on without the support of Diageo, who have chosen to stand down after a nearly 30-year association with the club.

“It is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has,” the statement said.

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