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Thursday, January 21, 1999 Published at 18:04 GMT

Sport: Football

England secure new sponsors

Nationwide announce the sponsorship deal to the press

The Nationwide Building Society has been confirmed as the England football team's new chief sponsor - and have also agreed a deal with Scotland.

Huw Williams explains the deal (BBC Radio 5 Live)
They have agreed an estimated 15m deal to replace vehicle breakdown company Green Flag as the team's chief backer for the next four-years.

England coach Glenn Hoddle said: "This is a deal which is great for all of football, not just the England team.

Glenn Hoddle: "This is a good step forward" (BBC Radio 5 Live)
"I'm pleased that we're associated with an organisation which has been shown to have football's best interests at heart."

The Football Association had been looking for a new sponsor for the past six months.

Commercial director Phillip Carling said: "Delays are not good in relation to any negotiations but we are intent on finding the right partner and not to be disadvantaged."

England begin their 1999 campaign with a friendly international against world champions France at Wembley on February 10.

They will also face Hungary in Budapest on April 28 in an extra warm-up game prior to a Euro 2000 double header against Sweden and Bulgaria in June.

"There were a couple of options, a lot of people wanted to play us at Wembley, but it was important to get a bit of experience away from home around that time as it will be needed," said Hoddle.

Scots agree deal

Nationwide has also become an associate sponsor of the Scotland team alongside main backers Scottish Gas, a total package worth 8m.

"Nowhere in the world is there such strong support for the national team as there is in Scotland and we are delighted to be part of that," said Marketing and Commercial Director Philip Williamson.

"We are looking forward to supporting Scottish football not just for the next four seasons, but beyond that."

The Society rounded off a busy day by announcing the extension of its sponsorship of the English Football League for a further two seasons at a cost of 9m and a new deal to back the Football Conference over the same period.

Football League chief executive Richard Scudamore welcomed their new deal, saying: "Both parties are brimming with ideas and we are looking forward to an exciting time working together.

"The Football League and Nationwide will be combining their substantial marketing resources to develop individual club fan bases leading to greater attendances at all clubs."

For the estimated 15m Nationwide will now have the right to use the official "Three Lions" logo on various products, services and advertising.

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