Bundesliga clubs Hannover 96, Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 as well as the second division 1860 Munich are on the list of sponsorships Volkswagen AG is considering dropping to cut costs amid its emissions scandal, according to reports in Bild am Sonntag.
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, is battling the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history after admitting in September it installed software in diesel vehicles to deceive US regulators about the true level of their toxic emissions.
On Friday, it cut €1bn (£701m) from its 2016 investment plan, as its emissions cheating scandal expanded to include tens of thousands more US vehicles.
Auto analysts say the company could face a bill as high as €35bn for fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.
According to Bild am Sonntag, Volkswagen spends about €1.5m per season on each of the football clubs it could now cut from its sponsorship list.
In addition, Volkswagen may drop its €5m-a-year sponsorship of the ice hockey club Grizzlys Wolfsburg, the paper said.
Volkswagen said football was a major pillar of its sponsoring strategy that it would continue to pursue in the future. “It has not yet been decided what the volume of that will be,” it said in a statement on Sunday.
Last month, VfL Wolfsburg said it had postponed plans for a new multimillion-euro youth training centre after VW’s emissions scandal.