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Gilders and Westfield Health shirt sponsorship deals unites Sheffield clubs

Local derbys between teams from the same cities are always the highlight of a fans season but two Sheffield sides have put aside the rivalry in a combined commercial partnership.

Both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have signed a one year deal to wear identical shirt sponsors for the first time in their history. The joint shirt sponsor deals are thought to be worth six figures.

The one-year agreement signed with the two companies Gilders and Westfield Health is thought to be a positive move for supporters and the city alike.

It is the first time a deal like this for two clubs in the same city has been agreed in English football. The only other deal in the UK was in Scotland where Rangers and Celtic shared the same sponsor.

The agreement means Gilders, a Volkswagen dealership, will appear on the front of Wednesday's shirt when they are at home and United away. Westfield Health, a health insurance firm, will appear on United's home shirts and Wednesday's away shirts.

Wednesday's Chairman Milan Mandaric said: "This is an exciting partnership for all concerned."Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe said: "With this deal the city has added yet another first to the history books."

The two clubs came together to negotiate the deal when local firms said that they would not want to sponsor only one of the city's teams for fear of being accused of favouring one over the other.

George Moss

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