West Ham United played with squad numbers in place of a sponsor's logo against Newcastle United today.
The decision follows consultation with the Premier League with regard to the various options open to the club following the termination of the relationship with XL Holidays last week.
This decision still allows future dispensation from the Premier League to change player and replica kits to a new commercial sponsor once an agreement is in place.
WHUFC: "Although aware and respectful of the supporter-backed campaign to replace XL Holidays with the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, the commercial reality is the club has a financial duty to secure the best possible sponsorship package to help with the continued development of the first-team squad. "
With this statement the Board dismissed the wishes of more than 10,000 supporters who signed a online petition, claiming that 'the commercial reality is the club has a financial duty to secure the best possible sponsorship package'.
The petition:To: Chairman of West Ham United FC
CAMPAIGN FOR WEST HAM UNITED TO USE THE BOBBY MOORE FUND LOGO AS THEIR "SPONSOR" FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 2008/09 SEASON (WITH A PERCENTAGE OF SHIRT SALES GOING TOWARDS THE BMF).
If you agree with the above, please sign below! FC Barcelona were the first Club to use this idea and Unicef has been proudly displayed on their shirts since August 2007. More recently Aston Villa FC have from this season changed as well, local charity 'Acorns' being the grateful beneficiaries.
After the unfortunate demise of XL, this is a fantastic opportunity for West Ham United to pay tribute to the late, great Bobby Moore OBE in what is the 50th Anniversary of his League debut for the Club (plus of course, the long overdue Retirement of his legendary number/shirt).
For just one season West Ham... DO THE RIGHT THING!
You can sign the petition here