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The Premiership


Arsenal sign big kit deal

Arsenal has secured its biggest commercial deal in the form of a five year kit agreement with German sportswear company Puma. Terms were not disclosed, but are believed to be slightly more than the £150m contract signed in 2012 with Emirates to extend the airline's sports sponsorship and stadium naming arrangements.

Puma will replace Nike as Arsenal's kit supplier from July, ending a 20 year association. Puma have acquired the rights to produce Arsenal-branded merchandise, as well as the club's training and first team kits.

Red Knight shorts United shares

A hedge fund headed by one of the financiers who failed to buy Manchester United four years ago is betting against the club's New York-listed shares. Marshall Wace, one of the world's biggest hedge funds, stands to reap a profit worth millions of pounds if Manchester United continues to perform as poorly on the stock market as it is doing at its Old Trafford home.

Paul Marshall, one of the founders of Marshall Wace, was a member of the Red Knights consortium which in 2010 launched a campaign to persuade Manchester United's owners to sell the club.

Barclays Bank may end Premiership sponsorship

Barclays Bank is considering not renewing its £40m a year sponsorship of the Premier League as it is not seen to deliver 'value for money and 'zero value in the UK'. The bank is engaged in a thorough review of its global operations.

The bank’s present deal runs until the end of the 2015-16 football season and members of Barclays’ leadership team are concerned that rapid price inflation for sports rights will mean a much higher amount will be demanded by the Premier League for the next three-year deal.

Chinese bid for Southampton?

China's richest man may be ready to make a bid for Southampton. Apparently there is interest from Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, boss of the Dalian Wanda group, who could make the Saints the richest club in the Premier League.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the new owner would be willing to splash the cash. But it would make Saints the first Chinese owned club in the Premier League.

Baggies may lose shirt deal over Anelka

West Bromwich Albion shirt sponsor, Zoopla, has warned the club to axe Nicolas Anelka or risk their lucrative shirt deal being scrapped.

Zoopla, a property and house prices website company, has delivered an ultimatum to Albion by threatening to pull out of its contract if Anelka plays in the Premier League game against Everton at the Hawthorns on Monday night.

Anelka is under investigation by the Football Association and facing a potentially lengthy suspension after his controversial ‘quenelle’ goal celebration that has been described as anti-Semitic by Jewish organisations.

Crisis at Southampton

A crisis has developed at Southampton FC after the departure of successful executive chairman Nicola Cortese. He is seen as the driving force behind the club's recent success. The circumstances of his departure are far from clear, but it is evident that he has fallen out with the owner Katrina Liebherr.

Name change or I quit says Hull owner

Hull City owner Assem Allam has threatened to pull his money out and walk away from the club if he is prevented from changing their name to the Hull Tigers.

Allam remains determined to pursue his belief that Hull will be more marketable with a different name and able to attract better sponsors, even though fans have reacted furiously to the proposal. It is also not the good marketing idea that he thinks it is despite his insistence that the club's historic name is a 'lousy identity'.

Cardiff City lost £30m

Cardiff City lost £30 million in the season they were promoted to the Premier League, latest accounts reveal. The club's overall debt has risen to a £118m, with just over half, £66m, owed to owner Vincent Tan.

But Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said the club was on course to becoming debt free. Mr Dalman said Malaysian billionaire owner Mr Tan had put up to £150m into the club since 2010.

West Ham's dilemma

Getting rid of Sam Allardyce and his backroom staff would cost West Ham £5m, something they had insisted that they will not do, at least for now.

However, relegation could be particularly costly for the club. In 2016 they move to the Olympic Stadium and they need to have paid off their debt. One year ago it was £71m and they have taken on more debt since then to sign Andy Carroll.

Cup is a distraction says Villa boss

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert believes the majority of top-flight clubs would rather not have the distraction of the FA Cup.

Lambert was asked whether the FA Cup was something Premier League clubs could do without. 'I think if you asked the majority of them, if they were being honest, they probably would do,' he told BBC WM. 'Not just because of the money but survival in the league is vital.'