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Poker News: April 2, 2006

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Manchester United signs sponsorship deal with Mansion Poker

MANCHESTER UNITED will this week sign the biggest shirt sponsorship deal in world football, according to The News of the World.

Poker giants Mansion will replace Vodafone in a £60million four-year deal.

After Ruud van Nistelrooy cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premiership to just seven points, a United insider confirmed: "Lawyers are going over the contract this weekend. We hope to have the deal signed by Monday or Tuesday."

As revealed in February, Mansion's £15m-a-year deal — which starts next season — beats Chelsea's £50m five-year deal with electronic giants Samsung.

The Gibralter-based company beat off heavyweight competition from Etihad Airways, mobile phone giants O2, and electronics company LG.

Billionaire Indonesian owner Putera Sampoerna sent his son to England on Friday to tie up the deal with United.

Sampoerna is one of the world's richest men after selling his cigarette business to Philip Morris for a massive £3BILLION.

The 58-year-old tycoon is also splashing out £120m to buy the Les Ambassadeurs Casino in London's Mayfair — a club at which Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson is understood to be a member.

United needed to inform kit manufacturers Nike about their new sponsors by yesterday or face huge penalties.

Sampoerna hopes having his company emblazoned on United's shirts will push Mansion's growth — especially in his native Far East, where United's following is huge.

Mansion are a global gambling exchange and recently signed a £40m poker tournament deal with American giants *** Sports Network.

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