Liverpool seals deal with Standard Chartered
LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool football club announced late Sunday a sponsorship deal with British bank Standard Chartered, reportedly worth 80 million pounds over four years. The deal starting in July 2010 was the "largest commercial agreement in Liverpool's history," a statement on the club's website said. Media reports said the deal was worth some 20 million pounds (22 million euros, 33.2 million dollars) per season, which would equal the most lucrative ever in English football, but this could not be confirmed. The figure would match the deal struck by Manchester United with Aon Corp, the American financial giant earlier this year, reports said. Under the Liverpool deal, the bank's logo and name will replace Carlsberg as the main sponsor on the English Premier League club's shirt, ending a 17-year relationship with the side. "This partnership brings together two highly successful organisations with a really strong cultural and strategic fit," Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow said in the statement. "It is a real sign of the progress we have made at Liverpool that we have been able to secure the largest ever commercial deal in our history." Peter Sands, group chief executive of Standard, said: "This is a great partnership. We are excited to be working with such a famous global brand as Liverpool Football Club for the next four years." "This is an outstanding opportunity for Standard Chartered, our customers and shareholders, and for Liverpool, its players and fans." The club said the deal aimed to step up Liverpool's profile in the lucrative Asian markets as well as in Africa and the Middle East, after a pre-season tour of Singapore and Thailand. Standard Chartered, an emerging markets specialist, is listed on both the Hong Kong and London stock exchanges. After a sluggish start to the season, Liverpool have won back-to-back games which will give boss Rafael Benitez encouragement ahead of Wednesday's opening Champions League group game with Hungarian side Debrecen. Last season's runners-up in the Premier League thumped Burnley 4-0 at Anfield on Saturday.
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