Newcastle United’s takeover by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia last season gave hope to the fans that the club would be in a better position to battle against PL giants now that there’s serious money backing them.
The takeover, which was orchestrated by Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi’s 80% Saudi-backed consortium has worked out pretty well so far for the middle-eastern investors and Newcastle United.
Under new manager Eddie Howe and with decent spending on great transfers in the recent window, the club has seen a turnaround in its fortunes and is currently on course to play European football next season.
More importantly, the new Saudi investors have also reeled in some new big sponsors for the club.
Talking about sponsorships, the club’s current shirt sponsor, FUN88, a Chinese betting company is set to end its deal with the club at the end of next summer. This means that there is room for a new sponsorship deal for the team kits.
Recently, fans on Twitter have noticed some things that indicate the introduction of a new shirt sponsor for the club.
Supporters spotted representatives of Saudia, an airline company backed by the Saudi government doing possible promotional photo shoots outside St. James’ Park Saudia air hostesses in their signature blue outfits.
If that’s not evidence enough, the fans also spotted Fly Saudia advertisements being displayed on the electronic hoardings near the Gallowgate End.
Although there has been no official confirmation from the club or Saudia regarding a sponsorship deal, the photos circulating on Twitter are proof enough that something big is underway.
Some fans have also suggested that the airline company is going to be the stadium sponsor, which could mean that the legendary SJP name could be rebranded.
Saudia isn’t the first airline to be named as a potential sponsor, as back in September, another Saudi government-backed airline named RIA was rumoured to enter into a shirt sponsorship deal with the club.
Airline sponsors are nothing new in the football world as companies like Emirates and Etihad Airways already have a big stake in some of the top football names.
Similarly, Saudia could use this shirt sponsorship deal as an opportunity to compete against the above-mentioned giants and increase its exposure in the process.
Newcastle fans, in particular, are delighted to hear the news about the Saudi-backed airline company being a potential kit sponsor and the money and exposure it will bring to the club.
More importantly, they are looking forward to finally getting rid of the unattractive ‘FUN88’ logo on their club’s shirts.