A sponsorship wrangle nearly forced the Premier League champions to withdraw their involvement.
Manchester United almost didn’t make it onto the field for the A-League All-Stars match due to a sponsorship row.
An official from the AZN Stadium revealed that the game was close to being abandoned after United demanded Coca Cola signs were removed from the giant screens due to their affiliation with Pepsi, who recently signing a multi-million dollar deal with the Premier League champions.
“Man U’s commercial department threatened that the team would not run out if the Cola-Cola sign stayed on the big screen,” the spokesman confirmed to Fox Sports. “It wasn’t discovered until the team arrived at the ground.”
Coming up with an amicable solution was tough considering Coke are one of the stadium’s major financial backers with the matter finally resolved just 20 minutes before kick-off after United agreed to another product from the soft drinks giant being shown on the screens.
“There was a fairly heated discussion which involved FFA as well,” a Football Federation Australia insider said.
“The odd part is that there were lots of Man U people at the stadium three nights earlier for State of Origin and nothing was said about the signs.
“They could hardly say they were caught by surprise.”