Sheffield-based DBL Logistics has warned that it would end its sponsorship of Sheffield United if the club employed a convicted rapist.
The company, which is the back-of-shirt sponsor, was responding to the news that the club has allowed former player Ched Evans, who has been convicted of rape, to train at its facilities following his release from prison.
The club says it agreed to do this following a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association. In a statement, the club said: “While some have speculated about whether the Club will or should invite Mr Evans to return to SUFC as a registered footballer, the Club is not prepared at this time to decide that issue.”
DBL was founded by Bert Clarkson with his wife Linda in the 1980s, distributing white goods and parcels to private houses across Yorkshire. His son David took over as managing director in 1998. The family are lifelong Blades supporters.
The company signed a two-year deal to become the back-of-shirt sponsors at the start of the 2014/15 Football League season.
DBL said in its statement: “DBL Logistics is a business that has been built with family values at its core. It strongly condemns rape and violence of any kind against women.
“DBL Logistics would end its back-of-shirt sponsorship with Sheffield United if the Club employed a convicted rapist. However, while the current situation remains and Ched Evans is not contracted to Sheffield United, DBL Logistics will continue its business to business relationship with the Club.”