Man Utd rejects ‘record’ shirt deal

Manchester United FC is understood to have turned down the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in history by rejecting Emirates Airlines bid of up to &£7.5m a year.

The world’s largest football club is believed to be holding out for more than &£8.5m a year over four years, worth a total of &£34m.

Its current shirt deal with electronics company Sharp rose from &£1.5m to &£3.5m a year in 1998 and expires in June.

The two companies’ association has been running for over two decades but Sharp is understood to have been priced out of the negotiations.

The new contract will be the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in history. By comparison, Premiership rivals Arsenal FC secured a deal with Sega Dreamcast last year, worth &£10m over three years.

Emirates is understood to have offered more than the original asking price but sources say the club’s decision has left two major global brands vying for the deal. Internet company Yahoo!, Microsoft, Pepsi and Ford have all been linked to the negotiations.

The Manchester United team is in Rio de Janeiro, competing in Fifa’s World Club Championships.

The club is believed to have paid a two-week insurance premium of more than &£1m to protect the team, following safety fears in what has been dubbed “the kidnap capital of the world”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here