Property website Zoopla has announced that they will not renew their sponsorship deal with West Brom following the furore that has followed’s controversial ‘quenelle’ gesture. Striker Nicolas Anelka celebrated a goal against West Ham on December 28th with the controversial “quenelle” gesture, which he claimed was in tribute to his friend, the French comedian Dieudonne.
The FA after a lenghty period of investigation charged the controversial French striker for misconduct and stands the risk of facing a 5-game ban if found guilty. However, until the investigation is complete, West Brom is free to select the Frenchman, who featured against Everton in an English Premier League game on Monday evening.
It was widely reported that Zoopla, part-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman,had given the club the ultimatum not to play Anelka until the investigation is complete, or else it would end its sponsorship. After Anelka featured in the game on Monday evening, Zoopla has confirmed it will end its sponsorship at the end of the current season. The estimated £3m, two-year deal began in 2012 and was set to expire in the summer.
Zoopla head of communications Lawrence Hall 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.”The brand added it will honour its commitment to donate £100,000 to the club’s Albion Foundation and other local community charities between now and the end of the season.