A Saudi Arabia-led consortium along with Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley has taken Newcastle United over in early October 2021.
This shift in ownership has also opened the doors to new sponsorships, where companies close to the Saudi Group are now gunning to become the leading sponsors for the Magpies.
But this change has come into direct conflict with the existing agreements of the clubs with their current sponsors.
Just before the launch of the 2022/23 home kit, many Newcastle fans spotted a weird anomaly on the official website as they found that there were no kits (home and away) available with the Fun88 logo. Thus fueling the rumours that a change in sponsors might be on the horizon
Two years ago, Newcastle announced a long-term partnership with Fun88, an online betting site in the United Kingdom. But since the club’s takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which owns the biggest chunk of Newcastle United, this deal was on the line of being called off.
Gambling is an offence in Saudi Arabia and so it was speculated that one of their investments wouldn’t entertain a sports betting company as an official sponsor of Newcastle.
This led to a rise in rumours which envisioned Saudia, a Saudi Arabian airline, as the new kit sponsor for Newcastle.
Even some Newcastle fans were unhappy with their current sponsors, stating that the current kit with the Fun88 logo reminded them of an era gone by, the Mike Ashley era, where the club suffered enough and had to be acquired by new Arab owners.
But all the rumours of bringing a new kit sponsor were put to rest when Newcastle tweeted the photos of their 2022/23 season jerseys which had the Fun88 logo, honouring the deal they signed with sports betting company in 2020.
Although this came as a surprise for many, given Newcastle’s new Middle Eastern owners but it was good of Newcastle to come through the deal and fulfil their promise.
With the club traversing the same path as Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, who now have ties with the Arab world, the fans hope that the new owners of their delightful club will bring a revolution that might disrupt the realms of English football.
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