Nationwide cut ties with England

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Nationwide Building Society have confirmed they will not be renewing their sponsorship of the England team.

The move had been widely predicted over the last couple of weeks, leaving the Football Association to find a new partner just three weeks before a friendly with Hungary at Wembley where swathes of empty seats are anticipated following the disappointing World Cup performance.

"I can confirm that Nationwide Building Society will not be renewing its England team sponsorship with The Football Association after the current agreement expires at the end of July 2010," said Nationwide's head of sponsorship, Chris Hull.

It also appears to represent the failure of a gamble taken by the FA not to agree a new £5million-a-year contract with loyal backers Nationwide that had been on the table prior to the World Cup.

Instead, the FA's commercial team preferred to explore other opportunities, believing the performance of Fabio Capello's men would generate greater interest and drive up the price.

Nationwide have held a long-term interest in football, although they have come under pressure from members recently, with some expressing dissatisfaction at the Society spending such large sums on sponsorship at a time of financial austerity elsewhere.

Hull added: "In the last 10 years, Nationwide has also been sponsor of the three divisions of the Nationwide League and an official partner of the FA Cup. In addition, Nationwide spent a successful period as the sponsor of the Nationwide Conference.

"Nationwide has been involved with football sponsorship for over a decade and after a fruitful 11-year relationship with The Football Association, the organisation is currently re-focusing its marketing priorities.

"As the world's largest building society, we will continue to invest in our unique brand position and build on our mutuality and customer credentials. We thank The FA and wish them and the England teams well in all future activities."

An FA statement said: "The FA and Nationwide have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship over the past last 11 years. We would like to publicly thank Nationwide for their unstinting support during this time and wish them well in the future."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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