News broke yesterday that our current shirt sponsor, AIG, who took over from the contract Vodafone cancelled the season before we won the league, were in trouble. Their stock fell by 61% and it wasn’t looking good for the company, whose collapse could have massive effects on the global financial system.

However, the New York Governor, David Patterson, has today said “AIG still remains financially sound.” Their plan is to now loan themselves $20 billion held by its subsidiaries to provide cash needed to stay in business.

But what a collapse of AIG be such a bad thing for United?

Simon Chadwick, a professor of sports business strategy, has today said that given United’s current status in World football, being given the option of finding a new shirt sponsor would only mean more money for the club.

“Shirt sponsorship values appear to be holding their own well in the Premier League and also in Germany,” he said. “It may be an issue outside the Premier League but my view is that if Manchester United do have to find a new sponsor, they would almost certainly pay as much and quite probably more. United are currently European champions and Premier League champions, so they could not be in a better position. The issue for United would be finding the right sponsor with a global operation as a partner, to give the club global coverage, something AIG does perfectly at the moment.”

No doubt the Glazers will be rubbing their hands together, but for more than just this season. Whilst a new sponsor would bring in money, it would also mean new shirts would have to be produced. Nothing dates a shirt like an old sponsor, so no doubt fans would be rushing out all over the World to purchase exactly the same shrit, but with the new sponsor on it.

We have seen this happen before with the ugly blue shirt which initally had a Vodafone logo on the front, which was then changed to AIG.

Would you prefer a new sponsor and more for the club to help with the debt OR keep the AIG sponsor and save ourselves from needing a new shirt?