Schalke shirts in demand as club drop Russian sponsor

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Sports sanctions against Russia have led to a run on football shirts in the city of Gelsenkirchen.

Demand for German club Schalke’s shirts surged on Monday, the same day the second-division side dropped Russian energy giant Gazprom as title sponsor. Fans rushed to buy a version of the jersey without Gazprom’s name and logo on it.

“Due to the high demand for the special shirt, the online store is currently reaching its limits,” Schalke wrote on Twitter, calling on fans to be patient.

Last Tuesday, Schalke expressed “great concern” over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Then on Thursday, the club announced that it was removing the Gazprom logo from its shirts. The team wore shirts with “Schalke 04” on the front on Saturday for their 1-1 draw at Karlsruher SC.

On Sunday, Schalke said the special shirts without Gazprom’s name would be available on Monday from its online history.

Also on Monday, the club said talks were underway with Gazprom but its management had decided to end their 15-year partnership “in advance”.

“The club’s financial ability to operate is not affected by this decision,” Schalke said in a statement. “The club’s management are confident that they will be able to introduce a new partner in the near future.”

Schalke, who were relegated from the Bundesliga last year, have had Gazprom as their main sponsor since 2007.

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