Carling u-turn on FA Premier League sponsorship

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Related tags: Fa premier league, Sky sports, Premier league

Carling is set to perform a dramatic u-turn and renew its title sponsorship deal with the FA Premier League, according to media reports.It is thought...

Carling is set to perform a dramatic u-turn and renew its title sponsorship deal with the FA Premier League, according to media reports.

It is thought the Bass-owned brand has gone back to the negotiating table following the Premier League's decision to sell the overseas pay-per-view TV rights.

The sale of the individual pay-per-view deals has added weight to suggestions that the FA Premier League is considering splitting the title sponsorship between a domestic UK sponsor, Carling, and a global sponsor, rumoured to be either Siemens or Sony.

Although a domestic agreement would ideally suit Carling, as the brand does not possess a market outside the UK, it would be a massive turnaround following its decision to withdraw from negotiations earlier this year.

At the beginning of the year, Carling announced it was ending its 12-year relationship with the Premiership, citing procrastinating officials and an inflated £20m a year price tag as the primary factors.

However, having been unable to secure a deal with either Budweiser, Pepsi-Cola or Coca-Cola, the FA Premiership was left in a weak negotiating position.

The League's club chairmen have given Premiership chiefs until the end of the season to secure a sponsor and it is understood that Carling has been targeted as the main bidder for the domestic rights.

Carling dismissed the rumours, while a spokesman for the FA Premiership was unwilling to either confirm or deny the reports. He said: "We are still in negotiations with two parties, the identity of which I am not in a position to divulge. There has been a great deal of speculation surrounding the negotiations, the majority of which has been wide of the mark. Negotiations are continuing and we are still in a position to accept new bidders."

It is not known whether a prospective renewal of Carling's sponsorship of the FA Premier League will affect the brand's ongoing discussions with ITV.

Carling is looking to sponsor the network's Premier League highlights in a deal thought to be worth £18m.

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