Oxford

Panini Cheapskates ordered to ditch Man Utd stickers

Home made football stickers Image copyright Twitter/@CheapPanini
Image caption Alex and Sian Pratchett began by drawing every player in the 2014 World Cup

Manchester United has ordered a couple who make their own "terrible" football stickers to stop selling "wonky drawings" of the team's ex-players.

Alex and Sian Pratchett, known as the Panini Cheapskates, have won a loyal fanbase with their crude imitations of the playground collectables.

Premier League side Man Utd contacted the Pratchetts over the use of its trademarks such as its Red Devil badge.

The Oxford couple's stickers have now been withdrawn from sale.

A Manchester United spokesman said the stickers had infringed the club's "intellectual property rights".

On Twitter, the couple wrote: "Sad times. Man Utd got in touch and made us stop selling our wonky drawings of their ex-players. If you've ordered one, we'll be in touch.

"Though on the plus side, learned a lot about EU trademark directives this morning."

The couple posted a side-by-side comparison of the club's official badge next to their own version as an example of the alleged "intellectual property theft".

Asked if they would mount a legal challenge, the couple said: "Looking into it, but it doesn't look promising. Ah well."

The Pratchetts began drawing during the 2014 World Cup as they could not justify the cost of filling the album with official stickers.

Their efforts, which attracted attention on social media, were covered by international media and they repeated the feat in 2018.

A club spokesman said: "Permission to use Manchester United's intellectual property is only granted to official licensees, partners and sponsors of the club.

"Because Panini Cheapskate's items featured the Manchester United word mark, they unfortunately infringed those intellectual property rights."

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