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Wednesday, February 24, 1999 Published at 16:37 GMT

Old Firm rivals in shirt link

Will fans accept a joint deal between the Old Firm rivals?

Arch-rivals Rangers and Celtic could be set for a surprise link-up with a joint shirt sponsorship deal.

US cable TV company NTL is believed to be interested in securing a three-year shirt agreement, worth 12m, but two other companies are also involved in preliminary talks with the clubs.

The sides shared a sponsor in 1984, but it was a result of two separate agreements with a double glazing firm.

A brief joint statement, issued on Tuesday, read: Celtic FC and Rangers FC can confirm they are currently in joint discussions with three major companies regarding shirt sponsorship. No deal has yet been concluded."

Scottish and Newcastle Breweries currently have a shirt deal with Rangers but it expires this summer. Celtic's agreement with Umbro still has another season to run.

NTL spokesman David Forsyth said: "We are always looking for good opportunities to raise the profile of our brand."

But he declined to make any direct mention of the two clubs.

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