London Irish sponsor cancels after Jackson signing

Diageo pulls sponsorship of Lo

Diageo pulls sponsorship of Lo

Diageo, owner of Guinness, Smirnoff, Johnny Walker, and Captain Morgans among other brands, has announced that it will be cancelling its sponsorship of the London Irish rugby club.

"We have met with the club to express our concerns", the company said.

Diageo had said on Monday that they were meeting the club to discuss "serious concerns" regarding the decision. "Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship".

"London Irish will be moving on without the support of Diageo, who have chosen to stand down after a almost 30-year association with the club".

At the close of a trial at Belfast crown court in March a year ago, Jackson, his former teammate Stuart Olding and two of their friends were found not guilty of a series of sexual offences in relation to a party in Belfast in 2016.

The signs are that London Irish will stand by Paddy Jackson in spite of the commercial pressure.

Paddy Jackson was not at pre-season training, which began on Wednesday, but is expected to join soon.

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"It is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has".

"As a company, we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations", they announced on social media.

"The club would like to clarify that the decision to part ways at the end of 2018/19 season was made before the announcement of player signings in May 2019, and for reasons unrelated to player signings", a club statement read.

Jackson moved to France to sign for Perpignan past year after his IRFU contract was cancelled but it was announced that he was signed by the English club in May.

Jackson was signed by Declan Kidney, the former Ireland coach who handed the out-half his Test debut in 2013.

The high-profile court case brought to light a number of sexually explicit and offensive WhatsApp exchanges between the players.

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