Celtic ditch joint sponsorship deal with Rangers, go solo

Posted by Andy Muirhead

Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesStarting in February, Celtic will no longer have the same shirt sponsor as the rival Rangers

The fans have won. It is an association that the Celtic fans have wanted to end for years, but now the club has listened as chief executive Peter Lawwell announced that Celtic's famous green-and-white hoops will now be adorned with Magners as their new sponsors, rather than a brand that also sponsors their arch-rivals.

The three-year shirt sponsorship deal with the Irish cider brand will end the club's policy of joint sponsorship deals with rivals Rangers, now in the Third Division.

Celtic and Rangers have been working together on shirt sponsorship deals for over a decade, but that is ending as Celtic back up their claims of being able to 'stand alone' and after they were urged to ditch their association during the club's Annual General Meeting in October and adopt a new commercial strategy.

Tennent's agreed tp a three-year deal with Celtic and Rangers in February 2010 to sponsor both kits. But now Celtic will have the Magners logo emblazoned across their shirts and from February 2013 on improved terms compared to the £1.5 million per season that Celtic now receive.

Lawwell said: “This partnership is magnificent news, not only for Celtic but also for Scottish football. We are proud to be successfully leading Scottish football at home and in Europe. The desire of a brand with Magners’ stature to support the club is a measure of how much positivity there is around Celtic in our 125th year. I look forward to a long and successful partnership with Magners and I’m sure every Celtic fan will welcome their support.”

Tom McCusker, managing director of Magners, added: “Magners is a premium brand with huge ambition both at home and abroad, available in over 40 markets worldwide including key cider growth territories like the U.S., Australia, Canada and Asia. There is, therefore, a great fit with Celtic Football Club who also enjoy great success and popularity domestically and internationally. Everyone at Magners is looking forward to working with Celtic and its fans over the coming years in what promises to be an exciting time for the club and our brand.”

In February 2012, Lawwell said: "We look after ourselves. We don't rely on any other club. We are in a decent position, we're very strong."

Those words have never been truer as Celtic bid rivals Rangers adieu and leave them in their wake.

ESPN Conversations