Newcastle 'agree £25m-per-year sponsorship deal with Middle East firm'

Newcastle ‘agree £25m-a-year shirt sponsorship deal with Middle East company’ – but NOT from Saudi Arabia – having cut short £8m-a-season agreement with betting firm Fun88 two years early

  • The North East club are enjoying their best season in decades under Eddie Howe
  • Deal with Fun88 was agreed before the takeover by Saudi Arabia’s PiF 
  • Agreement with Middle Eastern company said to be worth £25m-per-year 

Newcastle have reportedly agreed a deal worth £25m-per-year for a Middle Eastern company to become their new principal shirt sponsor. 

The North East club are currently enjoying their best season in decades, led by Eddie Howe and backed by the enormously wealthy Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.

According to The Times, Newcastle have struck a deal with an unnamed company from the Middle East that will see their per-year shirt sponsorship income more than treble, rising from £8m to £25m.

It is said the company in question is not from Saudi Arabia, but another country in the region. The report states that the new commercial agreement will be revealed next month by the St James’ Park club.

Currently sponsored by gambling firm Fun88, an agreement that was struck before the Saudi-backed takeover in October 2021, Newcastle agreed a deal to cease that partnership two years early last year.

Newcastle are set to announce a new principal shirt sponsor next month, it has been reported

Eddie Howe has led Newcastle to the brink of the Champions League – enormously increasing the club’s commercial attractiveness

Newcastle insist that the new deal falls within the Premier League’s FMV regulations and is not unduly connected to the owners of the club, the Saudi PiF

The reported lucrative deal reflects the significant upturn in fortunes experienced by the club in the last 18 months or so.

Newcastle faced the very real prospect of a tight relegation battle when Howe took over from Steve Bruce almost immediately after the takeover, though the former Bournemouth boss navigated his way through last season and has led them to the brink of the Champions League this.

Newcastle currently sit third in the Premier League, eight points clear of Tottenham in fifth having played one game fewer and holding a superior goal difference following a number of convincing wins, including a 6-1 hammering of the north London club last weekend.

It is claimed that Newcastle themselves insist the deal falls within the confines of the Premier League’s fair market value (FMV) regulations.

The FMV rules, introduced in December 2021 in direct response to the Saudi-backed takeover of the club, require all clubs to show that their commercial deals are of appropriate and not inflated value.

Fears grew that Newcastle would unduly benefit from agreements with Saudi entities following the takeover, sparking the agreement by all clubs, other than Newcastle and Manchester City, to introduce the regulations.

The rules aim to bring greater transparency to the commercial agreements of clubs in the top flight.

Reports state that Newcastle will receive £34.3m this season as opposed to £19m last season owing to having been on television 30 times over the campaign. They will receive £17m more this season in merit payments should they remain in third position than the 2021-22 term.

Newcastle have spent extensively, if not lavishly, in the three transfer windows since the takeover. Fees have amounted to £250m so far, with the club expected to continue revamping their squad this summer.

Newcastle have spent extensively since the takeover in 2021 – with record signing Alexander Isak really beginning to impress

Howe took the Newcastle job in November 2021 and since then has led them up the table

Howe has insisted the club do not have a bottomless pit of money from which to spend, claiming they will continue to operate in a ‘smart’ way in the transfer window.

‘An overhaul in the squad is very difficult to do. It’s almost impossible in this day and age with the prices of the players,’ he said.

‘We don’t have an unlimited budget and we’ll have to be very smart with what we do. FFP will still be there and forcing us to work in a certain way.

‘We have to make smart decisions. We have to bring in the right players not just any, and certainly the majority of the squad here that have performed well deserve to be part of our future as well.’

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