Polish laws force Celtic to swap sponsors

Anthony Stokes in a Tennent's-sponsored strip in March 2013. Picture: Robert Perry
Anthony Stokes in a Tennent's-sponsored strip in March 2013. Picture: Robert Perry
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POLISH advertising regulations will force Celtic to alter their shirts to remove their main sponsor, cider firm Magners, and replace it with Scottish lager brand Tennent’s Lager when they play Legia Warsaw tonight.

C&C Group plc, which owns both Tennent’s and Magners, has launched a complaint against Polish authorities, citing the European Convention of Human Rights to argue that the ban on the advertising of cider in the country is “illegitimate” and “absurd”.

Celtic will play

Legislation in Poland forbids alcohol advertising in most instances, but regulations allow beer to be promoted. Adverts are often seen at Polish football matches.

C&C Group has written to the Scottish Government, the Scottish FA, and the European Cider and Fruit Wine Association (AICV) for backing of its stance, which states that the Polish rules effectively prevent cider firms from entering the market in the country.

Paul Condron, group marketing director at Magners, told the Evening Times: “As Celtic’s shirt sponsor we feel strongly that we should be free to display the Magners brand on the Celtic shirt in Warsaw. However, because of Polish national advertising rules that prevent cider brands from being promoted at a football match, we have had no choice but to swap Celtic’s shirt branding from Magners to Tennent’s Lager.

“Polish national advertising rules that allow beers to be promoted in and around Polish stadia and on TV while banning the Magners branding from the Celtic kit are clearly discriminatory.”