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Sunderland To Announce New Shirt Sponsor

Sunderland's Mike Farnan has announced that the club will have a new name on the shirts next season.

Ian MacNicol

Sunderland will no longer bear the sponsorship of Invest In Africa as of next season it has been announced, but a new sponsor is in place and should be announced soon.

Some spurious reports suggested recently at the charity's apparent disagreement with new head coach Paolo Di Canio's appointment, like many others they apparently cited his political beliefs as a reason for doing so.

This would appear to be way off the mark as Mike Farnan told financial experts Bloomberg today;

The reality is it was a two-year deal with a year's break clause.

What's happening is we will be announcing a major African conglomerate with 188,000 employees as a sponsor and Invest in Africa will continue supporting us. We're hoping to announce it soon.

Africa is part of our long-term strategy, we're not pulling out. We don't listen to all the rubbish that's being written. We just decided it would be good to be working with a consumer-facing brand.

Invest In Africa have drawn much attention since they took over, and there are shadows over their connection with Tullow Oil which have once again been brought to light again this week in a rather unfair manner.

Either way, it appears we're parting ways as far as a shirt sponsorship deal. They have gained exactly what they wanted which is much more exposure and to establish themselves as a household name. I'd say job done on that front. We got a fair bit of cash, and we move on.

The strong rumor for the new sponsor is African telecommunications giant MTN, who have a strong presence in African football already.