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Manchester United sign new partner as Arsenal deal in doubt.

While Manchester United signed a £40 million four year ground breaking deal with courier company DHL this week to sponsor the club's training kit, O2 is reviewing its football ties with Arsenal.

O2 is in the last year of a ten year shirt sponsorship deal with Arsenal and with 02 stating that it main area for sponsorship is Rugby it has to be a cause of concern. O2 is getting ready a major marketing campaign to support the England team in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Nic Fletcher, O2’s head of sports sponsorship, says the company is taking advantage of the increased appetite for rugby in recent years and went on to say the company are “looking whether to continue” its sponsorship of Arsenal Football Club.

Arsenal has suffered a disappointing start to the Premier League season and the club has not won a major trophy since 2005. Defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday will put Arsenal eight points behind the Champions after three games.

The four-year agreement signed by United will see the DHL's logos on training wear, except those before European games.

"We are delighted that DHL has chosen to pioneer training kit sponsorship with the club."

"This deal breaks new ground in the English game," said United's chief executive David Gill.

DHL are paying around half what the American insurance company AON invested to put their name on United's match shirts but the new deal does not include European games. United wore their new DHL training kit to warm up before Monday night's 3-0 Premier League victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

United will reveal their annual results in a few weeks' time and are expected to become the first club to generate more than £100m in commercial revenue.

George Moss

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