25 Worst Club Sponsors in World Football

Charles Lawley@@charleslawleyContributor IMarch 5, 2013

25 Worst Club Sponsors in World Football

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    There are many names people call World Football.  But whatever name it is called, people still watch the sport.

    The beautiful game is the most watched sport in the world, and that means big bucks for advertisers.

    Football has become more commercialized over the years, and it’s gotten to the extent that virtually every team now has a shirt sponsor.

    Even Barcelona broke with tradition, in 2010, of never having shirt sponsorship, apart from charity UNICEF, by allowing Qatar Foundation to advertise on their jerseys, despite the company's questionable links.

    But it can get a lot worse than that, so we’re looking at world football’s 25 worst ever club sponsors.

    WARNING: We might be relocating to the moral high ground; we’re going to be talking about company ethics at times... but we’ll mostly be childish about company names that are similar to naughty words.

25. Club America and Bimbo

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    Mexican side Club America are sponsored by baking company Bimbo.

    However Dictionary.com defines the word “bimbo” to mean

    noun, plural bim·bos, bim·boes. Slang.:

    1. a foolish, stupid, or inept person.

    2. a man or fellow, often a disreputable or contemptible one.

    3. an attractive but stupid young woman, especially one with loose morals.

    All accusations that have been leveled at professional footballers before.

24. Manchester United and Sharp

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    This might just be me but when football first came into my consciousness at a young age, Manchester United’s shirt sponsor were electronic company Sharp.  

    However, at that time they also had Lee Sharpe playing for them.

    At six years old I was unable to comprehend the concept of shirt sponsorship, or even what an electronics company was.

    So, to me, it seemed like Manchester United had Lee Sharpe’s surname on their shirt (despite there being a discrepancy in spelling – the company Sharp didn’t have an “e” at the end).

    I recall protesting to my Dad that United should have “Giggs” on the front of their shirt, as he was a much better player.

    I’ve never forgiven them.

23. Everton and Danka

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    Everton might have followed up their 1995 FA Cup win with a shirt sponsored by food maker Danka, but that doesn’t stop the fact that “Danka” rhymes with a very rude word indeed.

    In fact, you couldn’t get any closer to the word without actually saying it, could you?

22. Deportivo Wanka and Deportivo Wanka

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    Oh dear, we’re only at slide 22 and Peruvian side Deportivo Wanka have lowered the tone completely.

    I’ll concede that the club is called Deportivo Wanka, so it’s not actually a shirt sponsor.

21. Atletico Madrid and Columbia Pictures

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    In 2003-04 Atletcio Madrid were sponsored by Columbia Pictures, who would regularly change the sponsor, or even the entire kit, to promote an upcoming film.

    As well as Spiderman 2, Atletico Madrid players were also used as film trailers for other such cinematic classics as White Chicks and Hitch.

20. West Ham United and Pony

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    Again, not strictly a shirt sponsor, more a kit manufacturer.

    But when "Pony", which is cockney rhyming slang for "crap" (as in "pony and trap", e.g. "this day has been absolutely in pony" or "in the '90s, West Ham were really pony"), is emblazoned on the shirt of a cockney football team, it's more than worth mentioning.

19. Getafe and Burger King

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    Because nothing says "elite, professional sportsmen" than a major fast food franchise.

18. Scarborough and Black Death Vodka

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    Because nothing says "elite, professional sportsmen" than a drink called "Black Death Vodka."

17. Newcastle United and Northern Rock

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    In 2010, Newcastle United were relegated from the Premier League.

    This was shortly after their sponsors, Northern Rock went down and nationalized by the British Government, and eventually bought by Virgin Money.

16. Newcastle United and Wonga

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    Not ones to learn their lessons from questionable sponsorship deals, Newcastle United's shirt sponsors next season will be controversial payday loan company, Wonga.

    This provoked an angry response from fans, and even Muslim players being told not to wear a shirt with the company's logo on, as it was against Sharia law.

    Newcastle United should not upset their fans, as disgruntled supporters may want payback, albeit at a very high interest rate.

15. Scunthorpe United and Pleasure Island

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    This is Scunthorpe United's 1994 away kit, sponsored by Pleasure Island.

    Pleasure Island isn't as seedy or as horror-film-locationy as it sounds. It is a Lincolnshire amusement park.

14. Clydebank and Wet Wet Wet

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    Football and Rock 'n' Roll have a long history together.

    The Gallagher brothers' love of Manchester City, the Undertones featuring Derry City on their album covers, and painfully uncool pop group Wet Wet Wet sponsoring their local club Clydebank FC in 1993.

13. Manchester United and AIG

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    Manchester United's old kit sponsors, AIG, needed an $85 billion financial bailout from the U.S. government after a downgraded credit rating.

    But at least they could afford to pay to have their logo on Michael Carrick’s tummy.

12. Brighton and Hove Albion and Nobo

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    If you're unaware what "nob" or "knob" means, it is British slang for a certain part of the male anatomy.

    I did warn you that this would get childish.

11. West Ham United and XL Leisuire

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    The pony hit the fan for West Ham United's shirt sponsor, holiday company XL Leisure. The company collapsed in the middle of the 2008-09 season.

    It left holiday makers stranded in far away lands and West Ham without a shirt sponsor.

    So they just had to stick giant numbers over the logo until a replacement was found.

10. Liverpool and Crown Paints

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    There's nothing wrong with Liverpool FC having Crown Paints as their shirt sponsor in the '80s.

    The giant Crown Paints tin they used to roll along the pitch before games, on the other hand...

9. St Johnstone and Bonar

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    Scottish club St. Johnstone were sponsored by Bonar Textiles from 1989-91.

    I promise I'm not making this up.

8. Voukefala and Soula

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    "What's wrong with Greek club Voukefala being sponsored by Soula" you ask?

    Well Soula is the name of a local brothel.

7. Denmark National Team and Dong

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    Until last January, the Danish national team was sponsored by an energy company called "Dong."

    Nothing funny about that.

6. Roma and INA Assitalia

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    From 1995-2002, AS Roma were sponsored by "INA Assitalia".

    Just say it out loud, then get back to me.

5. Portsmouth and TY

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    From 2002-05 Portsmouth were sponsored by ty. You know ty, they're the owners of the soft, cuddly and cute Beanie Babies franchise.

    Surprisingly, despite the endorsement deal, Beanie Babies weren't collected and traded in the pubs outside of Fratton Park, by its diehard supporters, on a match day.

4. Olympique Lyonnais and Le69

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    Ooh la la!

    If you don't know why Lyon having "le69" on their shirts from 1989-91 is funny, it's not your French teacher's fault.

    It's your biology teacher's fault.

3. FC Nürnberg and Mister Lady

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    Because nothing frightens the life out of defenders more than a striker running at you with "Mister Lady" written on his shirt.

2. AC Milan and Pooh Jeans

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    Why would anyone have "Pooh" written on their football shirt?

    Actually, forget that question, why would anyone wear jeans called "Pooh"?

1. Oxford United and Wang Computers

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    Sorry. I can't bring myself to type. I'm giggling too much.