Celtic League looks for new sponsor as Magners pulls out
Irish company announces it will end its six-year deal with the Celtic League at the end of the season
Magners has confirmed it will end its six-year deal with the Celtic League at the end of the season.
The cider brand has backed the league -which is made up of two Scottish, two Italian, four Welsh and four Irish clubs -since 2006, and its decision to leave has left organisers looking for new sponsors.
Magners said: “Magners will not be renewing their sponsorship of the Celtic rugby competition at the end of their current contract. The sponsorship has come to its natural end.”
League organisers say they are in negotiations with “several potential sponsors”, with speculation suggesting that Italian car giant Fiat is the frontrunner to take over from the Irish brand.
A total of 15 teams used to compete in the Celtic League, which was established in 2001, but the number has changed over the years.
The league was without a sponsor between 2001 and 2006 and survived the collapse of TV broadcaster Setanta Sports, which held exclusive rights in Ireland and Scotland.
There are now 12 sides and the latest additions, two Italian clubs Treviso and Aironi, are close to completing their first season in the Celtic competition.
The latter have struggled and lie rooted to the foot of the table with 11 points, while Treviso, owned by Benetton clothing company, have exceeded all expectations, recording eight victories.