Footballers risk missing out on lucrative sponsorship deals amid apprehension from brands to associate with players following a string of damaging Covid breaches.

Hugely profitable commercial partnerships with footballers have become common place in recent years due to the Premier League‘s global popularity.

But Sportsmail understands there is currently a hesitation from brands to link-up with footballers due to the growing numbers of players caught brazenly flouting Covid-19 regulations.

Three Spurs stars and a West Ham player (identified above) broke rules to party despite Covid-19 restrictions being in place over the Christmas period

Three Spurs stars and a West Ham player (identified above) broke rules to party despite Covid-19 restrictions being in place over the Christmas period

Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) celebrates at a New Year's Eve party with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic (right)

Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) celebrates at a New Year’s Eve party with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (right) 

Manchester City left back Benjamin Mendy hosted a New Year's Eve party at his mansion

Pep Guardiola's decision to back Benjamin Mendy after he broke Covid rules angered fans

 Pep Guardiola’s decision to back Benjamin Mendy after he broke Covid rules angered fans

HOW PREMIER LEAGUE STARS BROKE RULES 

Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso were fined and reminded of their responsibilities after they were pictured in a large group photo alongside West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini and their families on Christmas Day.

Manchester City say they are investigating after Benjamin Mendy held a New Year’s Eve party which included guests from outside his household. He was a substitute in City’s next game.

Crystal Palace and Fulham launches investigations into Aleksandar Mitrovic and Luka Milivojevic after they were pictured partying together – but Palace fielded the midfielder as captain in their next game.

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Seven Premier League players were exposed for disregarding Government restrictions during the festive period last weekend including many more throughout last year, news that has resulted in a furious public backlash.

Those public embarrassments have not gone unnoticed by brands, who are now concerned by the risks to footballers in light of the negative exposure.

A source said: ‘There’s only a been a handful of cases but all footballers are tarnished by the same brush.

‘When you’re looking for a brand ambassador, the last thing you want is that person to be viewed as someone who is putting peoples health at risk.’ 

Industry sources have indicated that mid to low level player sponsorship contracts have been most impacted by the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

While the most high-profile players will always attract money-spinning commercial contracts, there is said to be a noticeable downturn in brand opportunities for most footballers as companies cut their cloth accordingly.

And the public disapproval of the behaviour of some players has created another layer of concern from companies.

The actions of players has created widespread condemnation, even causing the Professional Footballers’ Association – the players union – to remind footballers of their responsibilities. On Wednesday players were told in a memo that their ‘compliance with the national restrictions sets the right example to millions of fans’.