Football: FA denies Nike kit deal is imminent

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The Football Association expect to announce a decision before the new year on who has won the contract to supply England's kit into the next century. Claims that Nike are offering a pounds 150m, 10-year deal were dismissed as "premature" yesterday by an FA spokesman.

Umbro hold the current contract, which runs out in 1999. Nike and Umbro are two of several companies who have tendered.

"As yet the FA have not made a decision," a spokesman said yesterday. "It could be weeks or a couple of months, but it would be expected probably around the turn of the year."

Nike are determined to win the race, but privately the FA are annoyed that negotiations are not being kept private. A sneak preview of possible kit designs in a Sunday newspaper have not gone down well with the FA.

The Manchester City manager, Frank Clark, may raise transfer funds by selling centre-back Paul Beesley to Motherwell, who are interested in taking him in a pounds 100,000 deal.

Everton went back to the top of the women's Premier League after beating champions Arsenal 3-1 yesterday and getting a helping hand from their neighbours, Liverpool, who pulled off a surprise 2-1 victory over Doncaster to knock the Belles off the top of the table.

Two goals from the England international, Karen Burke, gave Everton a 3-1 win after her England colleague, Carol Harwood, had equalised for Arsenal following Louise Thomas's opening goal.

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