We stated here, just seven days ago, that Indian group Sahara, whose interests range from financial services to real estate, were possible contenders to fill the Manchester United shirt sponsor vacancy left by outgoing sponsors AIG. With so much speculation, this past week saw Paddy Power open betting on who will win the contract.
According to the aforementioned bookmakers the overwhelming favourite is American company NBTY, a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of nutritional supplements across the States and the rest of the globe. Paddy Power offer 9/4 that NBTY will be the next shirt sponsor of Manchester United, with Sahara at 7/2.
It shows what a global brand Manchester United is when all of the companies being linked with the shirt sponsorship deal are international ones.
Tata are joint third favourites at 8/1. Tata own several car brands such as Jaguar and Land Rover and it has been announced that they will be sponsoring the Ferrari Formula One team. Whether or not they can afford to sponsor both Ferrari and Manchester United in the current financial climate remains to be seen.
Fellow joint third favourites are Saudi Telecom with China Telecom following at 10/1.
Other interesting links include Pepsi who are 16/1 and McDonalds who are 18/1.
Paddy Power have since stopped the betting, and only time will tell to see who will replace AIG as United sponsors.
Whilst United search for a large financial agreement, Leicester City are looking for a regional charity to appear on the front of their away shirt. The club have already announced that they will leave the front of their home shirts blank as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations next season.
This decision came about after a vote from supporters, with a similar situation happening currently at Watford FC.
Following the signing of the new kit deal with Joma, Watford have offered their fans the chance to vote for the 09/10 home and away kit colours with the winning designs to be announced at the end of the current season.
For all shirt news, visit footballshirtculture.com.
By James Bailey