Owls in the money with new deal

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday are closing in on a new sponsorship deal.

Their two-year arrangement with the Children’s Hospital has come to an end.

The club donated their shirt sponsorship to the hospital rather than looking to complete a conventional deal that could have been worth an estimated £500,000.

They are set to return to tradition in a deal with undisclosed commercial backers, and talks are nearing completion.

But chairman Milan Mandaric has already confirmed that the Owls are also to keep up their close links with the hospital.

He and vice-chairman Paul Aldridge have paid a visit there.

The club could work with the hospital on specific projects.

In addition, the Owls’ new away shirts - which go on sale at their Hillsborough store today - carry the hospital logo on the back, though the front is left blank for the time being; fans can have new sponsors’ image added later.

New backers are set to have their names on the front of the teams’ shirts. A new home kit will be launched at the club’s open day on July 17.

Meanwhile, former Owls loan keeper Iain Turner, aged 27, is being released by Everton as his contract ends.

He spent the last three months of this season on loan at Preston and starred in an 11-game spell with Wednesday in early 2007.