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England will continue with Umbro shirts

The England team will continue to wear Umbro-branded shirts even if, as now looks certain, Nike succeed in a takeover bid.

The Football Association are supporting Nike's bid and Umbro shareholders are being recommended to accept the offer from the American sportswear giants.

Umbro have agreements with the FA going back 20 years and the governing body have decided not to exercise their right to terminate the current contract. FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: "The FA has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Umbro for over 20 years. We are delighted that the proposed acquisition will allow us to continue that strong historical relationship while benefiting from Nike's marketing expertise and financial strength.

"Nike have provided firm assurances that the FA's relationship with Umbro will be protected and enhanced, and we look forward to working closely with both companies."

FA officials have played a significant role in negotiations and believe that if they had cancelled their agreement with Umbro then Nike would have pulled out of the takeover because they are targeting the England brand.

It also make things easier for the FA in organising kit launches and personal appearances for their Umbro products as in the future they will be able use players contracted to Nike.

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