Proper Snide Man Utd
A couple have been thrown into legal turmoil by one of the largest clubs in the world whilst trying to raise money for charity. In a bizarre twist of fate the couple Alex and Sian Pratchett who draw football sticker images under the name Panini Cheapskates have incurred the wrath of Manchester United and been told to stop selling “wonky Drawings” of their former players and club crest. The couple who have raised just over 12 grand for cancer research charity started the project when they decided to set themselves the challenge of filling their world cup 2014 Panini album with slightly ridiculous sketches of players. Since then, the popularity of the @CheapPanini project has made the stickers collectable and their work is sold online.
“We were surprised rather than upset or angry, but it is what it is,” Alex told the Guardian. “We fired off one or two tweets which maybe revealed our frustration a bit, but we don’t really have a moral high horse to get on because in the eyes of the law our childish yellow and red circle squiggle apparently looks enough like United’s crest to impinge on their trademarks.”
A club spokesman told the BBC: “Permission to use Manchester United’s intellectual property is only granted to official licensees, partners and sponsors of the club. Because Panini Cheapskates’ items featured the Manchester United word mark, they unfortunately infringed those intellectual property rights.”
“A few of our followers suggested adding ‘football club’ to our version of the badge, as United had famously removed it from theirs not too long ago, but our handwriting just isn’t up to that,” said Alex.
“We thought it’d be nice to turn this nonsense around and do something good with it, so we removed the badge/splodge, renamed it ‘Man Red’ in tribute to various unlicensed football video game franchises, changed Wayne Rooney to ‘Ray Wooney”, Mark Hughes to ‘Spark Youse’, etc and relaunched it as a charity item, which went amazingly well and raised about £500 for Cancer Research.”
“We’re thinking the most sensible thing to do would be to preempt any further aggro along these lines and retrospectively give the ‘Man Red’ treatment to the rest of our back catalogue of terrible drawings,” adds Alex. “Which means we have a lot of wonky badges to erase and a lot of silly names to think up. Come to think of it, we should probably change our name to Panono.”
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