Emirates Airline improved upon their sporting ties across the world by reviving their partnership with Italian football powerhouse AC Milan yesterday. The Dubai government-owned organisation have signed up to be their shirt sponsor for a four-year deal worth ?60million (Dh300m). Emirates already sponsors English Premier League club Arsenal, German side Hamburg, Paris Saint-Germain in France and Greek side Olympiakos in football and the Kings XI Punjab cricket team in the Indian Premier League. The Arab world's largest airline was the sponsor for Milan in 2007 and steps in at a time when the Serie A club is keen to boost their sagging profile. The contract begins in July.
The club has, by their expectations, had a bad first half this season and are third in the league. There were rumours that the owner Silvio Berlusconi wanted to sell his stake but he has denied such reports. Coached by Leonardo, the club are keen on some high-profile signings like the Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole and this shirt deal could inject crucial funds for Milan to go on top of the table over archrivals Inter and AS Roma. AC Milan, who have David Beckham on loan among their ranks, have been using Dubai for their winter training period for the last two years. * With agencies