Manchester City are expected to announce that they have signed a new sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways to rename the City of Manchester Stadium. The airline, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government, are set to invest up to £10-£15 million a year for the naming rights of the ground, which will help to balance the books at the big spending club.
The deal has been on the cards for some time, and the Eastlands outfit could be in line to bank up to £100 million over a long term agreement. The buyers may face investigation from Uefa’s financial fair-play (FFP) commission however, due to the affiliation with the owners of the club. The governing body will be keen to see that a suitable and fair amount of money is invested, especially given the new rules set to come into play stating that leading clubs will not be allowed to make losses of more than £40m, or face potential expulsion from the Champions League.
With the side’s foray into European football’s top tournament for the first time in 2011/12, City have been keen to add new players to Roberto Mancini’s squad, but have been shackled by the new legislation that is to come into play in the 2013-14 season. The added revenue from the stadium rights will limit the effect of the new rules, and allow more new faces to move to the club to join summer signings Stefan Savic and Gael Clichy.
Etihad Airways already invest £2.3million per year as the club’s shirt sponsor and a press conference has been arranged for Friday.