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21st January, 2014 << Home
 

Zoopla to terminate West Brom sponsorship over Anelka salute

Zoopla's decision to end their sponsorship of Premier League side West Brom seems likely to have been made as much (if not more) on principle as because of possible damage to their brand image which might be caused by their association with the 'quenelle' gesture made by Nicolas Anelka.

The Football Association has now charged the player with making "a gesture which was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3[1]" - the full FA statement can be read here.

Anelka made the controversial salute on December 28th in an away game against West Ham; his own explanation is that it was made in support of French anti-establishment comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala. Dieudonne, as he is known, purveys an extremist agenda, having many friends on the far right of French politics.

He has frequently been banned from mainstream French media, ran for President of France in 2007 on an anti-Zionist platform and has had eight convictions on anti-semitism charges. According to reports, in one performance he mocked a Jewish journalist and suggested that it was a pity he had not been sent to the gas chambers; he directed a film in 2012 which used imagery that mocked Auschwitz concentration camp prisoners.

Dieudonne's 'signature' quenelle (literally 'dumpling') gesture is interpreted by many as an inverted Nazi salute.

Property and house prices website Zoopla was co-founded by American Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman (left) in 2012.

Meanwhile the "Baggies", as West Bromwich Albion are known, have moved to clarify their position on Zoopla's decision to end their 3m sponsorship deal, issuing the following statement.

"West Bromwich Albion has been fully aware since the sponsorship agreement came into force in June 2012 that its partnership with Zoopla could expire this summer and therefore has been planning accordingly.

"Zoopla has today informed the Club in writing that it does not wish to extend its sponsorship deal. The Club will now actively seek a new Official Sponsor for next season".

 


 

 

 
 

 


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