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Ex-GM exec failed to disclose soccer deal's full costs, sources

  • General Motors fired its global marketing chief last week for failing to fully disclose that as much as a third of the cost of a $559 million sponsorship deal with English soccer club Manchester United, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    Joel Ewanick was fired after a whistleblower in the automaker's marketing department raised doubts over the deal that will see the company's Chevrolet brand name on the shirts of the club's players in the 2014-2015 season.

    There is no proof Ewanick that profited from the deal but GM will investigate the deals as well as other contracts he had agreed to.

    Last week, Manchester United said the seven-year sponsorship deal would bring in $559 million.

    GM will pay fees of $18.6 million for this year's and next year's season, before paying $70 million in the 2014-2105 season. The payments will rise 2.1 percent each season through the 2020-2021 season.