Thomas Cook has confirmed it will drop shirt sponsorship of Manchester City Football Club at the end of the current season.

The travel giant, the UK’s second-largest travel company, has been the club’s shirt sponsor for the past five years and renewed the deal for a sixth consecutive season in June.

Manchester City player Ant Genn in actionBut Ian Derbyshire, Thomas Cook chief executive of independent travel for the UK and Ireland, confirmed the arrangement would shortly come to an end. The deal is reported to be worth £2.3 million a year.

Derbyshire said: “It’s been great branding for us and we took the deal because it was the right deal at the right price. But it’s different now.”

The club is understood to be in sponsorship talks with Etihad Airways, which is based in Abu Dhabi.

Thomas Cook’s sports division, Thomas Cook Sport, organises travel for a range of football clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. It recently signed a new four-year deal as official travel partner for Chelsea.

Derbyshire said: “We hope to continue to have a strong relationship with Manchester City.”

Picture: Sky Sports / Justin Downing / Rex Features