Cobblers clinch Carter deal
Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:28:00
Manchester United's hunt for silverware will not be affected by increasing commercial demands, according to group managing director Richard Arnold.
Arnold has been one of United's major players in securing a raft of gargantuan commercial deals in recent times, chief among which is the record Â£357million shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet that takes effect from the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
On Monday, Arnold announced a five-year contract with Russian airline Aeroflot that will net the Old Trafford outfit well in excess of Â£25million.
However, the prominent presence of manager David Moyes and many members of his first-team squad at the Aeroflot event has given way to concerns about the additional demands being placed on playing staff.
Moyes revealed he had been made "very aware" by predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson that dealing with sponsors is now regarded as part of the manager's brief at United.
Yet Arnold insists there will be no impact on performances on the pitch.
"The number one objective for everyone at this club is to be the number one team on the pitch," said Arnold. "We do nothing that will get in the way of that.
"We work very hard with the support staff to make sure what we do is done in a way that minimises any impact on the players, both from a fatigue and distraction point of view.
"The work we do is very carefully planned."
United's commercial revenue is expected to take another massive leap when it is confirmed in the annual results due to be published in the autumn.
And there is still the major shirt manufacturing deal, currently held by Nike, to be concluded, which will net United another huge sum.
The Aeroflot partnership could ultimately bring in around Â£40million according to some observers, but Arnold feels the airline stands to benefit massively from that investment.
"They have a very good understanding of what we can do for them in terms of connecting and elevating their brand, not just with our fans but with a billion football fans around the world," said Arnold.
"There is nothing like sport. In sport there is nothing like football and in football there is nothing like Manchester United in terms of delivering connection and exposure.
"It is one of the highest levels of partnership, which is reflective of a serious commitment from them and us.
"Also it is a first partner for a particular part of the world and we are very excited about that."
The Wales international began his career at Prenton Park before going on to play for the likes of West Brom, Cardiff and Wigan.
But the 33-year-old has been without a club since his last professional appearance for Cardiff in their play-off semi-final defeat to Reading in May 2011.
Moore confirmed on Tuesday that Koumas' love for the game has been rekindled and he will be assessed in the coming weeks.
"We got a phone call from his agent asking if we'd have a look at him," Moore told the club's official website. "He fell out of love with the game, but he's back in love with it and he wants to come back.
"We said to bring him in and we've got sports science guys working with us now who will monitor his fitness.
"In two or three weeks time when he's fit and can play then who knows what might happen, but at the present time he's here to train and we'll have a look at him.
"It was supposed to be top secret, but nothing lasts too long."
The 29-year-old former West Brom and Birmingham man made 38 appearances during his single season with the Robins before leaving earlier this summer when his contract expired.
And he will be a Cobbler from August 1 as Aidy Boothroyd looks to harness Carter's experience in their promotion push.
"Darren's pedigree is clear for everyone to see," he told the club's official website. "I think we've got a really, really good player on our hands, he's got a great record and he's in absolutely fantastic shape.
"He has had a lot of other offers so I'm delighted we've managed to get him. He's a terrific professional, he scores goals from midfield and he's a winner."