Budweiser has confirmed it has pulled out of negotiations with the Premier League and will not be taking over from Carling as title sponsors from next season.
Despite being hotly-tipped by many to succeed current sponsors Carling, Budweiser claims it was not in the running to put its name to next year's Premiership.
A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch said: "Budweiser is committed to supporting football on a global scale. Contrary to rumours and speculation, we were not involved in the final bidding process for the Premier League sponsorship."
The decision, which comes two weeks after Carling's shock withdrawal, has led to speculation that Bass is prepared to re-enter the fray.
However, Carling has remained tight-lipped on any possible return to negotiations.
Although two other drinks brands, Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola, are rumoured to be waiting in the wings, the news that Budweiser and Carling have withdrawn from negotiations will not be welcomed by the on-trade.
Media analysts say it is unlikely that either of the soft-drink giants will place the same emphasis on tailor-made on-trade promotional activity as their predecessor, choosing instead to explore other marketing avenues.
The prospect of another rumoured bidder, mobile-phone company Siemens, clinching the deal would be an even less popular option for licensees.