June 21, 2024

Newcastle United are closing in on a new sponsor after qualifying for the Champions League

Newcastle United are close to unveiling a new shirt sponsor after conducting negotiations with a number of interested parties in recent months. Chronicle Live understands Sela, a Saudi events company, are the front-runners to strike a deal – said to be worth around £30m-per-season.

The company was founded in 1995 as Sela Sport, and has extensive links to the Saudi men’s national team. Newcastle’s recently-appointed director Abdulmajid Alhagbani, who is also a senior director at Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is currently the vice-chairman of Sela.

The Magpies cut short their current deal with Chinese gambling firm Fun88 last summer as the Premier League moves away from betting sponsorship ahead of the 2026/27 season. There has been significant interest in the battle to replace the Asian gambling firm on the front of the famous black and white kit, with a host of Middle-Eastern businesses vying for the position, as well as firms in the United States.

Speculation has been growing of late regarding Dubai-based property company EMAAR and Saudia airlines, who sponsored the club’s warm weather break to Saudi Arabia in December.
A new sponsor was always going to be on the cards due to the fact the 2017-signed Fun88 deal falls well short of what is needed for a club harbouring ambitions to reach the top of the Premier League. Newcastle’s current arrangement sees them earn roughly £6.5m per season, less than the likes of West Ham United and Everton.

A package of between £25m-£30m has been mooted in regards to Newcastle’s new sponsorship deal which would still see them fall short of their top flight rivals. Manchester City’s Etihad Airlines deal pockets them £67.5m each season, while Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all earn more than £40m from their biggest sponsorship deals.

Newcastle’s need for additional revenue streams was made apparent upon the release of the 2021/22 financial accounts. The rise in wage costs, significant squad investment and behind the scenes improvements saw the club post a loss of £70.7m loss in March. Commercial and matchday income grew year-on-year, mainly due to the end of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, but overall revenue streams fell short of Premier League competitors.

“There’s no doubt that we are a long way off the big six [in terms of revenues],” Darren Eales said in 2022. “We started to put the building blocks together to build for this long-term vision of sustainable top-six success where we can be competing for trophies.

“Now the trick is going to be putting together those deals that start to bring in the revenue. But I’ve started to see already that excitement in the business community, that excitement from commercial partners that gives me great hope that we will able to plot out a path that is going to get us where we want to get to.”

The arrival of Chief Commercial Officer Peter Silverstone has helped matters. The former Arsenal chief helped the Gunners strike a multi-million pound deal with Adidas and is using those links to grow the commercial side of Newcastle.

The Magpies announced Noon.com, a Middle East e-commerce platform, as their new sleeve sponsor last June. PIF reportedly owns 50 per cent of the company. Smaller deals have been secured with Monster Energy and Istanbul-based hair transplant specialists Dr. Cinik.

With Eddie Howe’s side securing Champions League football, the north east outfit will be able to attract bigger and better advertisers, sponsorships, players and a bigger chunk of the global audience next season and potentially beyond. New, lucrative sleeve and training kit sponsors are likely to be high on the agenda with clubs like Manchester United’s current arrangement with Tezos earning them around £20m-a-year.

Forgetting sponsorship revenue, Newcastle will also reap the huge financial rewards of playing at Europe’s highest level next term. A whopping £1.73bn was shared between clubs participating in the Champions League group stage and beyond last season.

The 32 teams to qualify for the 2022/23 Champions League received a starting fee of £13.48m, while group stage performance bonuses were paid out in the form of £2.4m for a victory and £802,000 for a draw.


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