Manchester City could be set for one of the most lucrative sponsorship deals in Premier League history, according to reports.
The Premier League champions are only three years into a decade-long sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways, worth around £400m, but are in talks over a five-year extension which would add a further £320m to City's coffers.
Etihad Airways' sponsorship of Manchester City covers their shirts, stadium, academy and training complex.
According to the Mirror, City are also set to pick up an extra £80m over five years from three further brands who will sponsor a new training complex currently being built, as a well as a new 7,000-capacity stadium designed to host academy football.
If the report is correct, City’s £50m-a-year sponsorship deal would be one of the biggest in the Premier League, topping the £45m-a-year deal neighbours Manchester United signed with Chevrolet last year.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton and Spurs all have deals worth less than City’s but, unlike the club owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, none have sold naming rights to their stadium or training complex. City AM understands that Chelsea are currently in the process of negotiating a new sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines for next season.
However, United's gargantuan £75m-a-year Adidas kit deal dwarfs the champions' £9m a year from Nike.
City were fined £50m by Uefa in May, having been found guilty of exceeding permitted losses for the previous two seasons, as outlined by financial fair play regulation (FFP). That figure could be reduced to around £20m should the club comply with a number of restrictions (which it has so far) and report a maximum break-even deficit of £16.2m this year.
An improved sponsorship deal with Etihad could help the club avoid making excessive losses in the future, although some may argue that City's record-breaking sponsorship is unjustly reliant on the close relationship between the two; Etihad's owner Sheikh Khalifa is half-brother of Sheikh Mansour.
However in May, Uefa ruled that the Etihad sponsorship was not "related party transaction" and was therefore permitted.
City are ultimately owned by the City Football Group, which also has a number of other franchises around the world including New York City FC and Melbourne City FC. Melbourne are also sponsored by Etihad while New York’s shirt is yet to be designed.
Earlier this year the group agreed a sponsorship deal with Nissan, with whom it co-owns Yokohama F. Marinos, across its global network of clubs.