Sponsorship on the rear of jerseys is banned under Premier League rules, although it is allowed in the FA Cup and League Cup. United were interested in discussing the potential for a second shirt sponsor at a Premier League meeting, but it is understood that the other 19 top-flight clubs were opposed to such a move.
The consensus was that there was a risk of diluting the impact of a club’s main shirt sponsor, according to Premier League sources. There was also thought to be a desire to avoid the risk of football shirts becoming similar to their Formula One counterparts, which are often plastered in sponsorship logos.
The news has only recently come to light, although the matter never went to a formal vote of the 20 Premier League chairmen and chief executives and was one of several areas of discussion on the subject of sponsorship. Under FA kit and advertising regulations, which apply to the FA Cup, sponsorship is allowed on the back of a shirt in one single area, as long as it does not exceed 100 square centimetres. The same applies to the front of a jersey, but the maximum allowable size there is 200 square centimetres.
United’s seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, which took effect from the start of this season, is worth £357 million. In July, United announced a ten-year kit deal with adidas worth £750 million — the biggest of its kind. United were also the first Premier League club, in 2011, to have a training kit sponsor.