A Long Goodbye To AIG - But No Reason To Worry
AIG, in a desperate financial situation, have confirmed that they will pull the plug on the shirt sponsorship deal with United when the contract expires at the end of the next season. The American insurance company had to be bailed out by the US government but still need to raise funds and cannot afford to renew the deal.
No reason to worry, though. It's one and a half year till then so we have time to find the successor, and, as one expert put it, this could not be a better time to start looking for one. After all, United have the world's officially best player in their ranks, we are the holders of the Premier League and the Champions League and the bookies (I'm sure companies pay attention to them regarding sponsorship) consider us overwhelming favourites to retain the Premiership title. (The longest odds quoted is 1.65) We shall have no trouble finding an equally good partner and have already submitted a detailed proposal to an Indian company.
Severing the links with AIG isn't a very emotional occasion - after all, they're only a bloody shirt sponsor with a quite unattractive logo. But one thing is certain: if they survive the financial crisis, whenever I'll see that aforementioned logo I'll be reminded of at least two memorable league titles and a fantastic European Cup triumph, just as seeing Sharp's logo evokes memories of the Treble and Vodafone conjures up images of Diego Forlan running around half naked after failing to put his shirt back on following his winner against Southampton.