West Ham United’s shirt sponsor XL is in trouble - after the holiday company went into administration early this morning leaving thousands of people stranded abroad.
West Ham are likely to run out at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow with no advertising on their shirts.
Ironically, West Brom Albion still have blank shirts as they search for a sponsor to replace T-Mobile, who ended their association with the club after four years, in the summer.
In February 2007, XL signed a three-year deal, worth £2.5m per year, to sponsor the Premier League football club.
West Ham owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson is also caught up in XL's failure as the main shareholder of Landsbanki, one of the two Icelandic banks which financed the company.
A club spokesman said: “We are still in the process of clarifying the situation but for us this suggests that the sponsorship arrangement is at an end and we will make a statement later today on our intentions to going forwards.”
There is still hope that the administrators, thought to be insolvency specialist Kroll, could find a buyer for the travel business.
West Ham are likely to search for new sponsors immediately; yesterday’s appointment of Gianfranco Zola as successor to Alan Curbishley should mean they will not be short on potential advertisers.
Then they must decide whether to offer fans the chance of having a shirt with a new sponsor logo.