Everton severs ties with three Russian companies
Amid growing pressure in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Everton have cut ties with USM, Megafon and Yota.
Everton have suspended all commercial and sponsorship arrangements with three Russian companies following the country's invasion of Ukraine.
The Premier League club have cut all ties with USM, Megafon and Yota – each of which are linked with Toffees backer Alisher Usmanov – with immediate effect.
Usmanov had his assets frozen on Tuesday as part of sanctions imposed by the European Union, a move the billionaire called "unfair" as he vowed to take legal action.
Pressure had been building on Everton to end their involvement with Usmanov, whose USM company sponsors the club's training ground.
Megafon is Everton Women's main sponsor, meanwhile, and Yota is on the sleeve of the shirt. Moshiri also has an exclusive naming-rights option on the Toffees' new stadium.
A statement on Wednesday confirmed those sponsorship agreements have been suspended, with the club giving their backing to Ukraine international Vitaliy Mykolenko.
"Everyone at Everton remains shocked and saddened by the appalling events unfolding in Ukraine," the statement read.
"This tragic situation must end as soon as possible, and any further loss of life must be avoided.
"The players, coaching staff and everyone working at Everton is providing full support to our player [Vitaliy] Mykolenko and his family and will continue to do so.
"The club can confirm that it has suspended with immediate effect all commercial sponsorship arrangements with the Russian companies USM, Megafon and Yota."
Speaking at a news conference shortly after the statement was released, Everton boss Frank Lampard gave his full backing for the club's decision.
"If it feels right for the club, it's the right thing to do," he said ahead of Thursday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Boreham Wood.
"That's a club decision. As a coach, member of staff – our jobs haven't changed. We have a deep empathy and emotion to what's happening in the world.
"I had absolute faith that they are making the right decisions as they see them. We were one of the forerunners in showing solidarity and unity.
"The suspension was the right thing to do, it's important I focus on the football."
Lampard also denied claims that Usmanov, despite having no official title at Everton, was present over Zoom when he interviewed for the manager's job in January.
"Those reports were inaccurate," he said. "My interview was with the board: Mr Moshiri, the chairman, Denise [Barrett-Baxendale] the CEO and the board – not with Mr Usmanov."