Leeds United today announced their new shirt sponsor – and it’s a name that could prompt a sharp intake of breath from the club’s hardcore fans.
Online betting company 32Red’s logo will be carried on the front of United’s playing kit from the start of next season.
Some Leeds fans, however, harbour a dislike of the colour red due to its associations with Manchester United, their old enemies from across the Pennines.
And, in an apparent nod to the sensitivities of the Elland Road support, the new sponsor’s normal red logo will turn blue when it appears on Leeds’s shirts.
Revealing details of the three-year link-up, Leeds executive director Paul Bell said: “We are delighted to announce a three-year shirt sponsorship deal with 32Red PLC, the UK’s premier online casino entertainment brand.
“We are hugely excited by this partnership and the opportunities it will deliver for all involved.
“32Red are a modern, forward-thinking brand with a long-standing and successful history of sponsoring high-profile teams within football and we are delighted to welcome them into our commercial partners programme.
“We look forward to building a strong relationship between our two brands both on and off the field as we seek to return to the Premier League.”
There was mixed reaction to the news on social media this morning, with Michael Holdsworth tweeting: “No problem with what’s on the front of our shirts at all, get a grip.”
Also on Twitter, Oliver Williamson posted: “You’ve put the word “red” on the front of our shirts.”
The Scratching Shed website tweeted: “Pleased they had the good sense to colour the logo blue. Shows proper customer research.”
Twitter user @ephemeraljoy, meanwhile, tweeted the new sponsor directly and said: “Can you change your name to 32 White, Yellow and Blue?”
United superfan Gary Edwards, from Kippax, famously refuses to paint anything red in the course of his job as a decorator.
And when the Elland Road branch of McDonald’s opened in 2002, there was a noticeable absence of the usual red in its logo.
United spent the season just ended without a name on the front of their shirts following a dispute with previous sponsor Enterprise Insurance.