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Manchester United in major deal

Manchester has landed the biggest sponsorship deal in English football, earning them $99 mn from AIG.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 10:25 IST

Manchester United has landed the biggest sponsorship deal in English football, earning them 56.5 million pounds ($99 million) from insurers American International Group (AIG).

United said Thursday the deal would start next season and run over four years until 2010.

AIG replaced Vodaphone as United's shirt sponsors, as the mobile phone company moved on after six years to become a sponsor of the European Champions League.

"This is a blue chip deal for a blue chip club. This is a deal that is right for Manchester United and it underlines our position as the world's leading club," said United CEO David Gill.

The deal is likely to help United, owned by American Malcolm Glazer since last year, to improve their team after disappointments in the past years in the Premier League and European stage.

But coach Alex Ferguson said United would not simply start splashing out money for any good player.

"The financial foundation will benefit the club as a whole and we can look forward to years of progress through that.

"But for me it's always going to be about how we can improve the team and nothing changes in that respect. I go to David Gill and say 'this is a player I'd like', then we assess how much it's going to cost," said Ferguson.

Until Thursday, the biggest football deal in the country was a five-year contract of Premier League champions Chelsea with South Korean electronics giant Samsung.