Arsenal sign £150m Emirates sponsorship and line up Adidas
New deal, brokered by Ivan Gazidis, is 'second-biggest shirt sponsorship ever'
AWAY from the carnage in west London, where Chelsea and QPR are in danger of going into tailspin, Arsenal are quietly getting their season back on track and, after rediscovering their touch on the pitch, the club has now signed one of football's biggest-ever sponsorship deals.
The Gunners have agreed a new five-year deal with Emirates, worth £30m a year, which will see the airline extend its shirt sponsorship until 2019. The agreement also includes a seven-year extension of the naming rights of Arsenal's Ashburton Grove home which will now remain the 'Emirates Stadium' until 2028.
The contract has been heralded as the second-biggest shirt deal of all time, behind Manchester United's £51m-a-year contract with Chevrolet that begins next season.
"That verdict is somewhat clouded by the fact the overall figure includes a sum to continue naming Arsenal's ground 'Emirates Stadium' but, regardless, chief executive Ivan Gazidis considers it a landmark moment for the club," says the London Evening Standard.
However fan site Arseblog points out that Arsenal will now be receiving almost twice as much as Real Madrid, and three times as much as Spurs.
The announcement is important for Gazidis, who has become something of a bogeyman to Arsenal fans. During the defeat at Manchester United earlier in the season the travelling supporters could be heard calling for his head.
"Gazidis has been under pressure to justify his £2.1m salary and has always insisted the renegotiation of this contract and a new kit deal - Arsenal are thought to be close to confirming a lucrative agreement with adidas to replace Nike - would enable the club to compete financially with the game's powerhouses," adds the paper.
The first part of the puzzle is now in place, and the deal with Adidas is so close that some people expected an announcement today. The Lady Arse Gossip blog has reported that the Adidas contract "is done" and that it will be worth a further £20m a year to the club.