Paddy Jackson’s signing by London Irish is starting to gather a negative momentum that is raising concerns among the club’s sponsors.
Cash Converters announced last week it would not continue its association with the newly-promoted Gallagher Premiership club, tweeting: “As a company, we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations.
“As a result of a detailed and thorough review of our support for London Irish, we have decided to discontinue our association with the club.”
Irish refuted that their signing of Jackson was the reason why Cash Converters opted out. “The club would like to clarify that the decision to part ways at the end of 2018/19 season was made before the announcement of player signings in May 2019, and for reasons unrelated to player signings,” they insisted in a statement.
However, the plot has now thickened with the Irish Daily Mail reporting on Monday that the Exiles, who signed Jackson on a money-spinning deal in May from French outfit Perpignan, are set for a showdown this week to discuss the reasons why Irish decided to sign an out-half who had his contract dramatically torn up by the IRFU in 2018.
— ?? Katrina ?? (@QuestionsAndTea) June 10, 2019
Along with Ulster team-mate Stuart Olding, who is now at Brive, Jackson was found not guilty of rape at a trial in Belfast last year. However, the IRFU took exception to a series of WhatsApp messages that came to light during the court trial and they axed the pair, forcing them to head to France to continue their playing careers.
Guinness has sponsored London Irish for almost 30 years – their association started in 1992 – but it is now alleged that its parent company Diageo has “serious concerns” that Jackson has joined the club for next season’s Premiership campaign following a one-year stint in France.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 7, 2019
The brewing giant claim the presence of Jackson on the Irish roster is a concern. In a statement to the Irish Daily Mail, the sponsor said: “We are meeting the club this week to discuss our serious concerns regarding their decision, which is not consistent with our values.”
Jackson was signed by Declan Kidney, the former Ireland coach who handed the out-half his Test debut in 2013.
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