WEST BROMWICH, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 13:  A sponsor-less West Ham shirt  during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United at The Hawthorns on September 13, 2008 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

7 of the Most Weird & Wonderful Shirt Sponsors in Premier League History

Like it or not, sponsors are an important modern football - providing a vital revenue stream for Premier League clubs to thrive. There's so much money involved in sponsorships these days that revenue streams like ticket and merchandise sales pale in comparison. 


It allows Premier League clubs to form a long standing and iconic partnerships with some of the world's biggest corporations. Liverpool did with Carlsberg for so many years, and there's a number of others that spring to mind too.


They're not all great, though. And with that in mind, here's seven of the Premier League's weirdest ever shirt sponsors:

7. QPR - Classic FM (1992-1994)

Football and music have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship from terrace chants to John Barnes chart threateners. If there's one radio station you wouldn't necessarily associate with football fans though, Classic FM would probably be a good shout. 


The independent radio station is best known for broadcasting classical music and movie scores with the likes of Pyotr Tchaikovsky topping their charts. He may sound like a popular Premier League star, but actually is not. 


Yet when the league was still in its infancy, Queens Park Rangers did in fact sign a sponsorship deal with Classic FM and wore them on the front of their shirts for the first two Premier League campaigns. 

6. Arsenal - Dreamcast (1999-2000)

This isn't as offensive on the eyes as some of the other sponsors on this list, but what really made this deal strange was the choice of Dreamcast. The sixth generation of consoles gave the world it's best selling console to date - the PlayStation 2 - a console that defeated Nintendo's Gamecube, as well as the original Xbox at the time.


You'd be forgiven for forgetting there was a fourth contender in that war, as the Dreamcast spectacularly failed to match the pace, reaching less than 6% of the PS2's overall sales. Sega were a company firmly in decline after the failure of the Sega Saturn and Arsenal would have been well advised to stay away from them. 


In the end the Dreamcast had a lifespan of just two years, which was still one year more than their sponsorship with Arsenal lasted. 


Sega also signed sponsorship deals with Sampdoria, Deportivo La Coruna and Saint-Etienne at around the same time as they desperately tried to get the Dreamcast up and running. Sadly it only contributed to their own financial ruin, with the expensive Arsenal sponsorship deal effectively bankrupting the company. 

5. Wolves - Doritos (2003-2004)

The American snack company is a household name, famous for their multiple flavoured grab bags of tortilla chips. Not all popular companies are good idea for a shirt sponsor though and with the possible exception of Coca-Cola, clubs probably want to steer away from junk food manufacturers in general. 


Wolves players were stuck with this tacky logo stretched across their chest for two years. To make matters worse, the bright yellow and red colouring in the logo really clashed with Wolves' unique 'Old Gold' coloured kit. 


Maybe they were hoping to put their opponents off with the offence of colour, but sadly for Wolves, it didn't work out.

4. Portsmouth - TY (2002 -2005)

The TY toy company was massive in the 1990's - their 'Beanie Babies' were tipped to be the next Steiff Bears - and many adults collected them in the hopes they'd appreciate in value.


There's a popular internet meme which shows a couple dividing up their collection as a part of divorce proceedings. That's how serious the craze got.


Sadly for those people, they proved to be nothing more than a kids' plush toy, with so many mass manufactured by the end of 1998 they were completely worthless. A year later the company ceased production of Beanie Babies, with their new products never matching the same hype, the cultural phenomenon was well and truly dead by 2002, the same year Portsmouth signed a sponsorship deal with the company. 


Pretty much the only memory of a company everyone left in the 90's was the signature heart shaped logo on the Portsmouth shirts. Pompey not only had a logo that looked ridiculous they also boasted a company name that nobody in the world cared about ticking both sponsorship blunder boxes for the next three years. 

3. West Ham - XL (2008)

To be fair to West Ham, this was more an unfortunate occurrence than a poor choice, but on a list of weirdest sponsorship deals, how could we forget XL? The logo itself was by no means the best in the Premier League era (it literally read XL in giant letters) but that wasn't the main issue the Hammers had that season. 


XL were an independent airline company based in Crawley who offered low-cost and predominantly short haul flights. In 2008, XL ceased operations after the company collapsed following the financial recession. Like a lot of low budget companies at the time, XL vanished almost overnight - and it posed a problem for West Ham, who still had the logo on their shirt.


The Premier League wouldn't allow West Ham to showcase the defunct company so the club had to sow makeshift patches over them. Initially just attaching a piece of fabric, the Hammers eventually put the squad numbers in place of the logo. 


The signed a sponsorship with SBO Bet later that season.

2. West Bromwich Albion - Homeserve (2010-2011)

This is definitely one that should have been sent back to the design team before being approved for use in the Premier League. HomeServe are a company who provide emergency home repairs, based in Walsall, not far from West Bromwich. 


So credit West Brom for supporting local business, but that is one of the worst designs we've ever seen on the front of a Premier League shirt. Red is quite a bold colour on a black and white kit so you'd think they'd want to keep it simple, but no - they opted for a different design choice. 


The large house shape allows fans in the stands to immediately make the link that this is a company that will work on your home, if they didn't get that from the subtle name already. And what better way to finish off the design than by plastering the company phone number in huge lettering across the front - just in case anyone watching the game needs to call right away.

1. Crystal Palace - ManBetX (2017-Present)

As the times move on and the world gets smaller, new emerging trends and countries begin to crop up in football sponsorships. Online betting companies and investments from the Far East are everywhere in modern football. Nine Premier League clubs will be sponsored by online betting companies next season and seven clubs will have owners from the continent of Asia. 


The pick of these is Crystal Palace, who will extend their sponsorship deal with ManBet X for another season. ManBet X is the kind of company name you get when you let your non-English speaking PR team handle management of the brand abroad. 


On top of the straight to the point approach of the company name the shirt also features the company logo of a Shield? Or a coin maybe? And what we can only assume is the company name written in it's native language.


There's just too much going on here.