Sunderland land lucrative shirt deal

Sunderland have announced that they have agreed a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with not-for-profit charity Invest in Africa.

The deal is hoped to expand the club’s fan base in the continent, with chairman Ellis Short insisting that it is the most lucrative deal in the Wearside outfit’s history.

“Commercially this is a good deal for us,” the American told the club’s official website.

“But more importantly than that it expands our presence and it expands our fan base, potentially.

“In the modern world of football we are going to be living with financial fair play so our spending will be limited by what we can bring in.

“To thrive going forward we need to be able to grow revenue. To grow it locally doesn’t make any sense. This is where our fans are. Around 300 million people watch the Premier League across the African continent,” he concluded.

The chief executive of the company behind the Invest in Africa concept, Tullow Oil, has also raved about the potential financial bonus that Martin O’Neill’s men could receive.

“They will be the No1 club in Africa,” The Telegraph have Aidan Heavey as saying.

“The Africans are very proud and, if you were a kid in school, what shirt would you want? You would want one that said Africa on it.

“Look at the companies involved who are sponsoring and supporting work with schools where we provide footballs and shirts. All that stuff will work for Sunderland,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight