It has been reported that Diageo has ended its sponsorship of London Irish after the English rugby team signed former IRFU star Paddy Jackson.
Earlier this week the group confirmed it would meet with the club over the signing, expressing “serious concern” over the matter.
According to RTÉ News, the Guinness maker issued a statement saying, “We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship.”
London Irish are said to be “understandably disappointed” with the decision, “particularly the manner in which the company has chosen to do so”.
The club said it offered to meet with senior management from Diageo in May, which it said was not taken up.
The news marks the end of a nearly 30-year relationship between the club and the drinks maker. London Irish said that “it is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has”.
Last year, Jackson, as well as Ulster and Ireland team-mate Stuart Olding, was found not guilty of rape at a trial in Belfast, but both were subsequently dropped by the national side over controversial texts exchanged over WhatsApp.
Jackson then moved to France to play with Perpignan in 2018.
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