Nationwide will not renew England sponsorship
Nationwide Building Society has confirmed it will not be renewing its sponsorship of the England team.
The move had been widely predicted over the last couple of weeks, leaving the Football Association to find a new partner just three weeks before a friendly with Hungary at Wembley where swathes of empty seats are anticipated following the disappointing World Cup performance.
It also appears to represent the failure of a gamble taken by the FA not to agree a new £5 million-a-year contract with loyal backers Nationwide that had been on the table prior to the World Cup.
Instead, the FA's commercial team preferred to explore other opportunities, believing the performance of Fabio Capello's men would generate greater interest and drive up the price.
Nationwide's head of sponsorship, Chris Hull, said: "I can confirm that Nationwide Building Society will not be renewing its England team sponsorship with The Football Association after the current agreement expires at the end of July 2010."
Nationwide has held a long-term interest in football, although it has come under pressure from members recently, with some expressing dissatisfaction at the Society spending such large sums on sponsorship at a time of financial austerity elsewhere.
Meanwhile, ratings for England players were made unavailable on the Capello Index on Tuesday morning.
The Football Association and England coach Fabio Capello's representatives had attempted to get the website removed from the internet on Monday.
A statement on the Capello Index website read: "Football Cap Index, owner of the trademark and know how of the Capello Index, wants to clarify that the evaluations of the World Cup made public, are the result of a complex analytical calculation system denominated the Index.
"Fabio Capello contributed, with his indisputable knowledge and experience, in the laying down of the foundations of this project: from then on, a team of professors and experts in mathematical and statistical calculations, then went on to create the system used in order to generate the ratings.
"The Capello Index cannot, and must not, be summarised as the vote given by Capello to the players, but is the result of a system which is capable of analysing and evaluating the actual performance adding various scientific variables.
"For this reason the Capello Index website allows one access to all the relevant events taken into consideration when calculating a player's performance with the possibility of publishing, in future, some of the elements that are part of the calculation algorithm.
"In the era of advanced technology, in which the American sports are a perfect example, we believe that there are many opportunities to enhance the user's knowledge of football thanks to the use of an objective evaluation system.
"We have no intention of generating any doubt regarding the professionalism of the great actors of this marvellous sport, purely creating an unbiased and universal rating system.
"As far as the evaluation of the performance of the players in the South African World Cup is concerned, we would like to clarify that Fabio Capello did not contribute in the formulation of the results now available online. They were obtained thanks to our unique scientific system that is, and will remain, transparent.''