Manchester United sign sponsorship deal

Manchester United have signed a new multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Swiss watch manufacturers Hublot.

The three-year contract comes hot on the heels of similar contracts with Saudi Telecom, Seoul Metropolitan Government and Budweiser.

The deal proves how valuable the United brand has become even during a worldwide economic slump which has seen West Ham's shirt sponsor XL go into administration and the Red Devils' sponsors AIG be effectively bought out by the US government.

While some critical fans vehemently opposed to the Glazer family ownership will continue to insist United's finances are precarious, club officials will point to increased sponsorship as evidence to the contrary.

"We are delighted to welcome such a prestigious partner as Hublot to the Manchester United family," said chief executive David Gill.

"Their reputation for excellence and innovation makes them a fitting and exciting sponsor for the club.

"Sir Alex (Ferguson) is known as a stickler for timekeeping, both on and off the pitch, now we have a partner that shares his passion."