11 Premier League-era shirt sponsors that no longer exist, including Mita Copiers and Wonga

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Companies with cash to splash on Premier League shirt sponsorship must be in rude health, surely? They certainly were when the deals were agreed, with millions splashed out to get their name on the front of a team's shirt. However, getting your company's logo seen across the world doesn't necessarily guarantee a bright economic future. Planet Sport has tracked down 11 top-flight shirt sponsors who no longer exist - and some that didn't even make it to the end of the deal.

Aston Villa - Mita Copiers (1983-1993)

Do photocopiers even exist any more? Well Mita Copiers certainly don't. The photocopier manufacturer was acquired in 2000 by Japanese firm Kyocera, spelling the end of the Mita name. It's now called Kyocera Document Solutions.

Swindon - Burmah (1991-1995)

The oil company was actually called Burmah-Castrol after acquiring Castrol in 1966. In 2000, oil giant BP Amoco (now BP) bought Burmah Castrol for £3billion. It led to the loss of 1,700 jobs worldwide and saw the lubricants businesses of both companies merged to form a new division based in Swindon. It's not known how the Slough office took it.

Watford - Phones4U (1999-2001)

Heidar Helguson Watford
Heidar Helguson Watford

The large independent mobile phone retailer was founded in 1996 by John Caudwell and expanded to over 600 stores across the UK. Caudwell made more than £1billion when he sold it for £1.5billion in 2006.

In September 2014, EE and Vodafone, the company's final remaining suppliers, ended their contracts and the company entered administration.

Just over 3,500 of the 5,500 staff who worked for Phones4U were made redundant, while around 1,200 transferred to new jobs as 200 stores were sold to Vodafone and EE. Another 788 transferred to jobs at Dixons Carphone or took it in turns to be Watford manager.

Wimbledon - Tiny (1999/2000)

Founded in 1990, Tiny described itself as the UK's biggest and longest established computer manufacturer, claiming to have sold 400,000 computers in 2000. The company went into administration due to substantial losses in January 2002 and was subsequently purchased by arch-rival Time Computers. In a move that mirrored that of the club only a year later, Time then transferred Tiny's UK base from Scotland to Milton Keynes (it was Burnley actually).

Everton - Kejian (2002-2004)

As part of the two-year-deal with the Chinese electronics firm, Everton received around £2.5million plus Chinese international defender Li Weifeng. Kejian also sponsored Chinese midfielder Li Tie's contract with the Toffees.

Now, I'm not saying Li Tie was on a lot but the company went bankrupt in 2013.

Middlesbrough - Dial-a-Phone (2002-2004)

Internet mobile phone retailer Dial-a-Phone was established in February 1995 as a direct marketer and supplier of mobile phones and mobile phone accessories. Their e-commerce website went online in September 2000. In 2008, the company was acquired by Phones4U and we already know what happened to them.

Fulham - dabs.com (2003-2005)

dabs.com was an online IT and technology products retailer which was acquired by BT in 2006. It was promoted independently of the BT brand until 2016 when the dabs.com brand was, according to BT, retired. It is now coaching in Qatar.

Charlton - Allsports (2002-2005)

Paolo Di Canio Charlton Aug03
Paolo Di Canio Charlton Aug03

Sporting goods retailers Allsports (all:sports on the shirts) signed a four-year deal worth £5million with the Addicks who were left searching for a new sponsor in the final year of the deal after the company was put into administration. Ninety-two stores were closed and 1,173 shop staff made redundant, in addition to cutbacks at the Greater Manchester offices. JD Sports bought the remaining 177 stores.

Wigan - JJB (1994-2009)

JJB Sports was a British sports retailer which expanded from one shop in Wigan to boast over 430 stores across the UK by 2005. The expansion was masterminded by former professional footballer Dave Whelan who started out selling from a market stall. Whelan went on to become chairman of Wigan Athletic, bankrolling their rise to the Premier League - even selling some of his shares in 2007 to help finance the club's fight against relegation.

In September 2012, shares in JJB Sports were suspended and the firm called in administrators.

Sports Direct purchased part of the business, including 20 stores, the brand, and its website for £28.3million and in November 2012 JJB Sports was officially dissolved.

Whelan stepped down as chairman of Wigan in 2015.

West Ham - XL Holidays (2007-2008)

XL Holidays' parent company XL Leisure Group, who also owned low-cost airline XL Airways, collapsed In September 2008 with debts of £143million.

It is believed to have cost West Ham, who agreed a three-year deal with XL in 2007 between £3million and £4million.

One of the more memorable shirt sponsorship deals, if only for the way the Irons covered over the company logo, first with an iron-on patch and then with enormous squad numbers on the front of their shirts. West Ham were again hit with the demise of a sponsor in 2015 when foreign exchange broker Alpari entered insolvency proceedings in 2015 following heavy losses.

Newcastle - Wonga (2012-2016)

When Newcastle signed a four-year sponsorship deal with the payday loans company it was a move that was attacked by a trade body for insolvency professionals.

They claimed that the north-east's high rate of insolvency made Wonga - which offered short-term high-cost loans - an inappropriate choice of sponsor.

Nevertheless, the deal ran for four years, during which time Wonga started to incur huge losses, exacerbated by a surge of customer compensation claims. Despite an emergency cash injection from shareholders to prevent it becoming insolvent, the firm fell into administration in August 2018. Having learned from their mistake, Newcastle have since become a lot more ethical in regards to who they accept money from.

The article 11 Premier League-era shirt sponsors that no longer exist, including Mita Copiers and Wonga appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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