CORK County Board have yet to make any comment on the new sponsorship deal with Sports Direct, the sports retailer owned by Mike Ashley.
The board are expected to formally announce the new deal either later this week or more likely later this month.
The deal will see Sports Direct take over as sponsor of the Cork hurling and football teams in a deal worth €2m over five years, with performance bonuses of up to €2m, including €200,000 for winning an All-Ireland title. A boot deal is also included.
One of the possible reasons for the delay in announcing the new deal is the U20 All-Ireland hurling final.
The deal was agreed some weeks ago but has not been announced while Cork’s U20 hurlers were continuing their progress in the Munster championship out of respect for current sponsors, Chill Insurance.
Cork beat Tipp in the Munster final and having done so progressed straight to the All-Ireland final, where they await the winners of the Dublin v Galway tie.
It was hoped this final would be played in January as being part of last year's championship Cork would wear the Chill jerseys for the last time. But that is now in question as no date has been set for the final and it could very well be the first time they wear the new jersey – depending on when/if it is played.
This will be their first involvement with in inter-county GAA team but they have been a sponsor of Glen Rovers for the last three seasons.
The retailer has an outlet in Blackpool and also has approved plans to take over the Easons store on Patrick Street and it is expected that they will switch to Umbro gear going forward.
The news comes shortly after Sports Direct was in the headlines following the FAI’s AGM, where it was revealed that the Association will be paying Sports Direct €100,000 per month in loan repayments until October 2025.
Ashley, also the owner of Premier League club Newcastle United and department stores House of Fraser, has been doing business in Ireland for the past 18 years.