Football: Carling backs Premier League

FOOTBALL'S elite clubs have finally agreed to drink from the lager glass they were first offered last summer and turned down. From next season the flagship competition will be known as the FA Carling Premier League via a pounds 12m sponsorship package.

The four-year deal was accepted yesterday by the 22 chairmen without a vote, though that is not to say there was complete harmony. Liverpool, whose tie-up with Carlsberg is the most lucrative shirt sponsorship in the game, are concerned over its implications but reluctantly have accepted they could no longer play King Canute against the tide of support.

Three attempts were made last year to seal a partnership. Last night the sceptics were happy to raise a toast to Rick Parry, the League's chief executive.

'We are delighted to have secured a deal with Bass (the brewers) at long last,' Parry said. 'The money will be important as we look to upgrade grounds and take the game into the next century. Time is a great healer and instead of haggling, clubs are now committed to pulling together.'

So much so that the deal would appear to signal the death of the so-called 'Platinum Eight' who came together, with Liverpool as the chief protagonist, to scupper the original proposal. Gradually the other seven have concluded they could no longer afford to say no to the money, which works out at pounds 136,363 per club per season.

Apart from Liverpool, three other clubs - Tottenham Hotspur, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest - have shirt contracts with brewers and Parry said talks will continue to make sure those deals are not disrupted.

Bass has close links with sport and is involved in the Tennents Charity Shield, the Tennents Scottish Cup and the Stones Rugby League Championship.

Disappointing viewing figures on satellite television were thought to be a barrier to a major Premier League sponsorship but Simon MacDonald, the Bass marketing director, said the success of the BBC's Match of the Day made this arrangement 'good value'.

'We are delighted to be associated with what has always been recognised as the most fiercely competitive and exciting League in the world,' he said.

Neil Webb, the Nottingham Forest midfield player, is to undergo exploratory surgery on his Achilles tendon injury on Monday.

Joe Lovejoy, team news

Football Diary, page 50

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable