Turkish police used pepper spray to disperse hundreds of Galatasaray fans who gathered at Istanbul's main airport to jeer United players on their arrival for Tuesday's Champions League game.
The fact that United has agreed its 11th sponsorship deal this season by signing a four-year partnership with Turkish bank Denizbank was an ironic twist given what happened on the field. No surprise that United put up a brave face in the light of defeat.
The new agreement will give Denizbank the exclusive rights to offer the official Manchester United Credit Card to Turkish consumers, in a country in which the club claims it has 9.5 million ‘followers’. The unique United and Denizbank branded credit card will offer cardholders a number of incentives and benefits, including discounts at the club’s Red Café and Museum & Tour, as well as competitions and prizes.
The partnership was announced in Istanbul on Monday ahead of United’s UEFA Champions League game against Galatasaray. United’s commercial director Richard Arnold said: “This is the 11th sponsorship to be announced by the club so far this season, which demonstrates not only the strength of the Manchester United brand but also our desire to engage with our fans through our global network of like-minded businesses.”
Arnold added: “Denizbank has over 11,250 employees and now has 610 branches across Turkey, opening 10 new branches within the first six months of this year. Much like Manchester United, Denizbank’s rapid and continuous growth demonstrates its aspiration for success. The company shares many of United’s core values and I am confident this will be a very successful partnership, bringing a fantastic product to our Turkish fans.”