VILLA SIGN BIGGEST KIT DEAL IN HISTORY.
HIGH-flying Aston Villa have unveiled the biggest preseason signing in the club's history - thanks to a lucrative kit sponsorship deal which has smashed through the pounds 10 million barrier with a Cyprus-based financial broker.
The Midlands' biggest club has announced a three-year agreement with FxPro, a 50 billion dollar-a-month broker in the foreign exchange markets.
Villa refused to reveal the exact amount, but confirmed it was more than the previous record pounds 10 million three-year deal with Nike.
The partnership marks Villa's biggest commercial deal since the club's foundation in 1874 - but the link with children's charity Acorns remains intact.
As part of the agreement, FxPro will appear on the club's new strip for 2010-11. Meanwhile, Acorns becomes the club's official charity and will benefit from joint input from both Villa and FxPro.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Aston Villa, said: "This is the biggest deal we have ever done. The previous biggest was the Nike kit sponsorship which was worth more than pounds 10 million.
"This was a big process for us.
We had a team of people looking for the right partner locally, nationally and internationally.
"We got to know FxPro a few months ago and it happened pretty quickly after that."
FxPro executive director Denis Sukhotin said: "I was looking to find a big partner in the UK - we were looking at the Premier League and there is only one Aston Villa.
"Villa are one of the great names in the English Premier League, with a following extending far beyond the UK borders."
Jim Manczak, head of strategic relations for FxPro, said: "Villa are one of the oldest and most successful clubs in England and we look forward to connecting with Villa fans far and wide."
FxPro was set up by Russian broker Mr Sukhotin in 2006 and the company launched trading the following year from offices in Limassol, Cyprus.
The firm, which serves clients from more than 120 countries, says it aims to become the "world's preferred FX broker." The group currently trades over 50 billon dollars a month.
David Strudley, Chief Executive of Acorns, said the organisation was delighted to become Villa's official charity partner. Heskey decision is good for Villa - Page 86
Record: Denis Sukhotin and Jim Manczak. New look: Carlos Cuellar models the Aston Villa kit at the catwalk show in Centenary Square, with the help of children from St Bede's School.