An “artistically challenged” couple who recreate football stickers have been told to stop selling drawings of Manchester United players.
The club ordered Panini Cheapskates to withdraw their “wonky drawings”, saying the stickers infringed “intellectual property rights”.
Alex and Sian Pratchett, who operate under the Twitter handle @CheapPanini, went viral on social media after sharing their “terrible” stickers for the 2014 World Cup.
The enterprise began when the couple could not afford to fill their World Cup album with real Panini stickers, so they decided to make their own.
The couple jokingly described the business as a “cost-saving exercise gone wrong”.
The Pratchetts have since drawn every Panini sticker for the 2016 European Championships and the 2018 World Cup.
They say they have raised about £14,000 for charity in the process – although the Manchester United designs were not for charity.
The designs currently sell on Etsy for £11 each, but the Manchester United collection has been withdrawn from sale.
The Oxford couple wrote on Twitter: “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 pair also shared a picture of their version of the club’s badge next to the official version as an example.
Fans of Panini Cheapskates accused Manchester United of being “petty” and “party poopers”, while others suggested the pair should continue selling their drawings regardless.
However, the couple said the club had contacted Etsy, which hosts their shop, and the site had removed the listing itself.
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.”
The Pratchetts say they hope to recreate stickers for international teams next.