The owners of Manchester United, one of the world's most famous football clubs, are still searching for the right sponsorship deal to replace Vodafone. The Times reports that the British club has been demanding as much as £20 million a season for shirt sponsorship but he has been forced to revise such demands downwards.
The club representatives are in talks with several companies, most notably Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates carrier, which is believed to have offered about £8 million - about £1 million less than Vodafone are paying.
United consider the offer too low, but many in the industry believe that, with the market a little depressed, the club may have to settle for about £12 million.
Etihad Airways aims at increasing its exposure in the UK and recently announced that it would begin daily Manchester to Abu Dhabi flights, possibly in March next year. The airline officially launched its services on November 5, 2003. By the end of 2004, the airline ended with as many as 16 destinations across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. By 2010, Etihad plans to take this figure to nearly 70 destinations.