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Sea Eagles sign new main sponsor amid Coco Joy proceedings

Waste and recycling firm United Resource Management has agreed a deal to become the new main sponsor of Australian NRL rugby league club the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

The deal, which has not yet been officially announced by the club, will at least cover the 2017 NRL season.

“We expect formal documents to be executed next week and we look forward to making a formal announcement with (Sea Eagles chairman) Scott Penn,” URM chief executive Anthony Johnston said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Under the deal, URM’s branding will feature on the front of the Sea Eagles’ jerseys for the team’s home fixtures next season. The club is continuing its search for an away jersey sponsor.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although the Herald reported that URM’s deal is valued at a “significantly reduced rate” compared to the partnership the team has with its current major sponsor, food and beverages company Coco Joy.

The team is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Coco Joy over unpaid sponsorship fees. Coco Joy’s three-year agreement with the Sea Eagles had been due to cover the 2016 to 2018 NRL seasons, although Flavour and Life Food and Beverages (FAL), the firm’s parent company, claims that its former chief executive Tim Xenos was not licensed to sign the deal last November.

In May, FAL said it had terminated the contract but the team insists that the contract is legally binding and the legal dispute continues to rumble on as the 2016 season draws to a close.

URM is a long-term partner of the Sea Eagles, having sponsored the team for 20 years.