Manchester City to keep £67.5m-a-year deal with Abu Dhabi airline Etihad with club hopeful that sponsorship goes beyond next season
- Manchester City have been sponsored by Abu Dhabi airline Etihad since 2009
- The airline company has also led Manchester City’s stadium rights since 2011
- The deal with Etihad will continue into the 2020-21 term and potentially beyond
Manchester City’s long association with Etihad is set to continue beyond the upcoming season.
Etihad started sponsoring the club’s kit in 2009 and, two years later, announced a 10-year partnership to include naming rights of the stadium and the surrounding campus.
Sportsmail understands that contract now goes past the initially announced 2020-21 campaign and City are hopeful the relationship is prolonged further.
Manchester City are set to extend their mega-money sponsorship deal with Etihad
Etihad started sponsoring the club in 2009 and gained stadium name rights two years later
The club’s arrangement with the Abu Dhabi airline formed part of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play probe — launched on the back of leaked documents published in German magazine, Der Spiegel.
Those alleged that, between 2012 and 2016, the majority of Etihad’s £67.5million-a-year sponsorship was funded by the club’s owner, Sheik Mansour.
City strongly denied any wrongdoing and won an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to overturn a two-year ban from European competition.
The club’s deal with the Abu Dhabi airline formed part of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play probe
The CAS panel concluded they were not ‘comfortably satisfied’ that ‘arrangements discussed in the emails were in fact executed’.
A move away from Etihad, who recorded losses of almost £600m in the first six months of this year as a result of the pandemic, would have represented a significant shift.
It remains to be seen whether City eventually separate their kit and naming rights deals between two parties in the future.
Manchester City and club owner Sheik Mansour denied any wrongdoing amid the FFP claims
New commercial opportunities for Premier League clubs are complicated by the global financial impact of Covid-19, with industry sources suggesting shorter-term deals may be more prevalent.
As such, there is uncertainty surrounding the scale of new contracts across football. A huge uplift in revenues has occurred over recent years, with Manchester United having signed a long-term deal with Chevrolet to sponsor their kit, bringing in £59m annually.
In 2018, Arsenal landed a five-year extension to their Emirates deal worth £200m.
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