Manly are caught in a bitter disagreement with their major sponsor who have demanded their logo be removed from the front of the NRL club’s jersey.
The matter pre-dates last week’s revelations of a police investigation into match-fixing allegations at the Sea Eagles.
However the major sponsor Coco Joy and its parent company FAL is concerned further damage is being done to its brand by its continued association with Manly, as it is being investigated by the NSW Organised Crime Squad.
With legal representatives from both Manly and FAL at a stalemate over the disagreement, the matter is scheduled for a hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on July 27.
The dispute dates back to February, with FAL asserting that its former CEO Tim Xenos, who is also the subject of court action by FAL, was not authorised to sign a $3 million three-year deal that was announced in November.
The sponsorship was a significant upgrade from their previous level of commitment to Manly.
It is the view of FAL that the sponsorship does not exist.
“FAL Healthy Beverages has no relationship with Manly RLFC. FAL terminated its sponsorship with Manly on 3 May, 2016,” a statement released by FAL on Tuesday read.
“On 18 May FAL’s lawyers wrote to Manly’s lawyers directing that the club immediately cease using FAL’s Coco Joy trademarks on players jerseys, or otherwise promoting itself as having any relationship with FAL. Manly have refused to comply with this request.
“FAL contends that Manly’s continued unauthorised use of FAL’s trademarks has caused, and will continue to cause damage to FAL and its brands, especially in view of the current investigation into alleged match-fixing being conducted by the NSW Organised Crime Squad.”
Manly released a statement on Tuesday evening noting that it was in a dispute with its major sponsor.
“Manly Warringah Sea Eagles confirmed today that it is managing an ongoing issue with major partner, CoCo Joy, over unpaid sponsorship fees,” the Manly statement read.
“This is an issue that has been ongoing since February and is completely unrelated to recent media reports.
“The club will make no further comment on this matter.”
Manly will still likely sport CoCo Joy’s logo on their jersey in Sunday’s match against Penrith at Brookvale Oval.