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Man Utd Smashes Shirt Sponsorship Record

(c) Sky News 2012

Manchester United's seven-year shirt sponsorship deal with General Motors (NYSE: GM - news) ' Chevrolet brand is worth a record-breaking $559m (£357m), it has been revealed.

This works out at almost $80m (£51m) a year, more than double the £19.6m insurer Aon (Xetra: 865852 - news) is now paying to have its brand on the Premier League team's shirts.

The news comes as fans opposed to the club's flotation in New York (Frankfurt: A0DKRK - news) called for a boycott of sponsors' products to put pressure on the US owners to ditch the plan.

The Manchester United Supporters Trust (Must) has accused the Glazer family of hurting the team's performance by saddling it with debt in a £790m takeover in 2005.

It has also been angered after the Glazers said they would raise up to $167m (£106m) themselves in the flotation after initially saying all the proceeds would be used to cut the debt.

GM announced the Chevrolet sponsorship deal on Monday, hours after saying that Joel Ewanick, its chief marketing officer, had "failed to meet the expectations that a company has of an employee" and was leaving.

Man Utd then revealed the Chevrolet agreement figures on Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing as part of the club's planned initial public offering of stock.

Chevrolet takes over from Aon starting in the 2014-15 season.

The deal smashed the previous record set by the Qatar Foundation’s sponsorship of Barcelona, worth $39.1m (£25m) a year.

Man Utd, which is estimated to have 659 million global followers - almost one in 10 of the population - said it will receive $70m (£44m) during the first season of the new deal.

This will rise by 2.1% a year until it ends in the 2020-21 season.

As recently as 2006, Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L - news) was paying only about £8m a year to sponsor the club's kit.

It was followed by AIG, which paid £14.1m a year between June 2007 and June 2010.