Thursday, 9 September 2010

Shamed Wayne Rooney hangs on to his multi-million pound sponsorship deals... as Coleen keeps her wedding ring on


By Christian Gysin and Ben Todd

Long-suffering: Coleen Rooney was pictured still wearing her wedding ring as she shopped in Manchester yesterday

Coleen refuses to meet Wayne amid further allegations

He 'begged' her to take him back

His sponsors say they will not drop him despite public outrage

Coleen Rooney emerged from her mother's house in Manchester yesterday still wearing her wedding ring.

With her hair tied above her head she headed off shopping while her shamed husband Wayne was seen driving out of the couple's home alone.

But while his glum expression gave away his marital problems, his sponsorship deals are said to be safe, despite growing public outrage that he should lose them.

They stood firmly by him last night, refusing to strip him of his multimillion pound deals despite growing public outrage.

The England player's four main sponsors said his reported use of prostitutes while his wife Coleen was pregnant was a 'private matter' and they would not drop him.

Rooney earns more than £2.5 million a year from his four key sponsors - publisher Harper Collins, sports firm Nike, computer games manufacturer EA Sports and drinks company Coca-Cola.

Parents' groups called for them to end the footballer's lucrative contracts because as a role model he has set an 'appalling' example to children.

And marketing experts warned that Rooney had offended the 'moral fibre' of the population.

Thousands of people have joined Facebook groups condemning Rooney and bookies are offering odds on which sponsor will drop him first.

Margaret Morrissey, head of the pressure group Parents Outloud, argued that Rooney should 'lose money and sponsorship' after his 'appalling' behaviour.

'This man is supposed to be a role model to children and stopping his sponsorship might not stop people buying Nike.

Home alone: A grim-faced Wayne Rooney leaves training

'But what it will say to people is that by stopping him earning such money it would send a message to children and young people. It would say that if you behave in the appalling way he has done there are consequences.

'I think people would like to see him lose money and some sponsorship deals as the result of what he has done.'

Nigel Currie, of consultancy Brand Rapport, said Rooney's sponsors would be 'worried' at the reaction to his reported infidelity, adding: 'He's been in the papers for quite a few days and the longer it goes on it becomes more and more serious. Sponsors will be worried.'

Nike said: 'We have worked with Wayne for seven years and he continues to be a Nike athlete. This is a private matter for Wayne and his family.'

Branding expert Chris Lightfoot added: 'Ultimately, there is a solid rock of moral fibre which goes through the population and they do look down on this kind of stuff.

'When it starts to get murky, there is inevitable damage to the brand and the business - sponsors pull away or reduce the amount.'

Tove Okunniwa, managing partner of sponsorship specialist MEC Access, said: 'He cannot afford a repeat and will have to keep on the straight and narrow.

Stocking up: Coleen went shopping for baby supplies, ignoring the lurid headlines

'It might be a private matter but it would be naive to think it won't be a consideration in the future.'

Yesterday a Facebook page entitled 'Wayne Rooney is a Disgrace' saw members of the public round on the player as he was described as 'overpaid and over-rated'.

Bookmaker Paddy Power was offering odds on Coca-Cola (5/1), EA Sports (8/1) and Nike (16/1) dropping him.

Should sponsors decide to ditch Rooney he will find himself in the same boat as golfer Tiger Woods and supermodel Kate Moss.

It was reported that Woods had lost around £7.8 million through deals with Gatorade, the AT&T phone company and Accenture being ended after the sex scandal that engulfed him.

In the case of Moss, she found herself deserted by the fashion industry five years ago after being pictured using cocaine.

It was estimated the model lost around £400,000 when she was dropped by Burberry - who had used her in five of their previous six campaigns.

She was also fired by Hennes and Mauritz ( H&M) after being dubbed ' Cocaine Kate' and Chanel announced they had 'no plans' to use her in their future campaigns.

However, publicist Max Clifford does not believe Rooney's sponsors will desert him.
He said: ' Will it stop people buying Coca-Cola? No. Will it stop parents buying Nike for their children? No.

'The only thing Wayne Rooney has to worry about is his wife.'

In tears, Wayne pleased for another chanceA tearful Rooney last night begged his wife not to end their marriage - and promised to do whatever it takes to win her back.

The footballer, who earlier in the week had seemed nonchalant over the future of his relationship with Coleen, has had a complete change of heart since arriving back to an empty marital home following England's game in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Since then Mrs Rooney - though she was wearing her wedding ring yesterday - has declined to see him and he has realised his marriage is 'hanging by a thread'.

As a result, he has poured out his heart to his wife in a series of emotional phone calls - and begged her to give him one last chance.

Last night, Rooney spoke emotionally to a close friend. He said: 'I will do whatever it takes to win Coleen back - literally whatever she wants at all.

Party girls: Promotions girl Samii Darnley, centre, with Jennifer Thompson, right, and a friend. Wayne Rooney met Darnley at a Man United Christmas party

The 24-year-old Manchester United and England star sparked controversy after allegedly sleeping with 21-year-old prostitute Jennifer Thompson while his wife was expecting their son Kai. It has also since been reported that Rooney had threesomes with Thompson and another prostitute, Helen Wood.

Miss Darnley is a familiar face on the Manchester clubbing scene, and posted photos of herself with a clutch of celebrities online.

These include boxers Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan and Big Brother winner Anthony Hutton. The new allegations are sure to impact on Rooney's plans to patch up his relationship with wife Coleen.

Meanwhile, the parents of two prostitutes who allegedly had a ‘threesome’ with Wayne Rooney, spoke of their sadness yesterday at the impact of the revelations on his long-suffering wife.

In an extraordinary statement, privately-educated Miss Thompson’s father Hamish and mother Danuta offered their ‘most sincere apologies to Coleen Rooney and her family’ and said they would ‘never condone' what the 21-year-old is alleged to have done.

Mingling with celebrities: Miss Darnley with boxer Ricky Hatton; she later dyed her hair blonde

Sports' star: Amir Khan pictured with Miss Darnley, who is wearing a skimpy England shirt

The university lecturer father of the second girl, single mother Helen Wood, 23, said he too was ‘desperately sorry’ for any heartache which may have been caused by her reported actions and spoke of the family rift after she left home aged just 16.

After cutting short a holiday with his wife in Portugal to confront their daughter back home in Bolton, 55-year-old Hamish Thompson issued a public statement describing how the last few days had been ‘extremely trying for us and our family’.

He added: ‘Following the various newspaper articles concerning our daughter Jennifer, we would like to offer our most sincere apologies to Coleen Rooney and her family.'

'This may sound somewhat hollow, but my wife and I would never condone what has or may have happened. We had absolutely no idea about any of the allegations and claims that have been made.’

Beauty contestant: Darnley, pictured here with Big Brother winner Anthony Hutton, is a current contestant in the Miss Preston beauty pageant

source: dailymail

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