The scandal engulfing motor giant Volkswagen could have knock-on effects for German football costing hundreds of millions of euro.

Volkswagen saw billions wiped off its share value during the week when news broke that its cars had been programmed to cheat on US emissions tests.

The world's biggest car brand in terms of sales admitted to American regulators that it programmed its cars to detect when they were being tested.

This then altered the running of their diesel engines to conceal their true emissions. As a result, VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday.

Sports marketing experts say that Volkswagen, fearing compensation claims that could run into the billions, could now start reviewing football sponsoring activities.

The company owns German Cup winners VfL Wolfsburg, pumping an estimated €100 million annually into the Champions League club.

VW also owns stakes in Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and newly promoted Ingolstadt through its subsidiary Audi, and is also an official partner of the German Cup competition.

The company also has various sponsorship deals with more than a dozen other Bundesliga and second tier clubs.

These include Hamburg SV, Schalke 04 and Eintracht Braunschweig, while Winterkorn himself sits on the board at Bayern.

"The financial pressure to save money is there," car industry expert Juergen Pieper of Bankhaus Metzler said. "It is only natural to also look at that (sponsorship) sector."

This is a view shared by Simon Chadwick, Professor for Sport Business Strategy and Marketing at Coventry University.

He said sports deals would quickly come under scrutiny as Volkswagen set aside funds for those potential claims.

"You imagine they will now be looking to strip away cost and inevitably sport will fall in the spotlight," he said.

"If the kinds of figures talked about are accurate, this has to have ramifications for financial performances and the management of the business,"

The US Environmental Protection Agency has said Volkswagen could face penalties of up to €16 billion, and the company's share price has plummeted since the scandal erupted.

"When a company is struggling financially then marketing expenditure is on the very top of the to-scrap list," said Andre Buehler, director of the German Institute for Sports Marketing.

Winterkorn is an ardent football supporter had strongly pushed for sponsorship deals in the past years - despite the resistance of supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech.

"There is already public pressure to scale it down," Pieper said. "I imagine that Volkswagen will become a bit more careful in that respect."

Wolfsburg was originally started as a factory team by Volkswagen workers, though at this point it isn’t thought likely that the car manufacturer would cut those historical ties.