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Rumours that beer giant S&N were to switch their sponsorship deal from Newcastle United to bitter local rivals Sunderland were today scotched by their marketing department.

 In a delicately worded statement, the company said "These rumours are simply untrue. We feel that Sunderland Football Club doesn't reflect the sort of brand values we are looking to communicate to our customers, while Newcastle United does."

 Sunderland's search for a kit sponsor for their first season in the FA Premier ship continues. A spokeswoman from their marketing consultancy, Sadde, McEmbass & Tard Ltd, commented "We are looking to start the season with a sponsor which adequately reflects our ambitions. At the moment, Kelloggs are interested, and we feel that this would be a partner of a suitable size for Sunderland."

 Kelloggs were unavailable for comment, although this news release was available on their website today:

 Kelloggs are currently in negotiations with Sunderland, the first division champ ions, over a sponsorship deal for next season. Sunderland reflect the brand values associated with our cereal 'All-Bran': Looks s**t before you start, goes down ungracefully after a struggle, accelerates quickly towards the nether regions and then continues plummeting uncontrollably downwards. We hope to seal a deal soon.

 However, all may not be plain sailing for the cereal firm. Sunderland boss Peter Reid is thought to want 'Fyffes' to sponsor the Sunderland kit, apparently for personal reasons. ... By "Shada"... SMB Political correspondent

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