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Should banks sponsor sports stars?

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A bit like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas, parliamentarian John Mann has called on the likes of tennis player Andy Murray, equestrian star Zara Phillips and motor racing great Sir Jackie Stewart to scrap their sponsorship contracts with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Bleeding red all over its accounts and shedding thousands of jobs, the struggling Scottish bank has been heavily criticised for doling out bonus payments to staff despite receiving billions of pounds of state aid.

So the relevation RBS has splashed out 200 million pounds on sports sponsorship – the bank also has a promotion deal with the rugby union Six Nations tournament – has come at the worst possible time.

“That level of excess clearly can’t be justified,” said Mann. “Not one ambassador, but loads, not short-term contracts, but long-term contracts, not small amounts of money, but large amounts of money.”

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