It’s been known for a while that Newcastle would be moving on from Wonga as a shirt sponsor; just who would replace them has been the question. Unfortunately, talks to bring back Newcastle Brown Ale fell through, but according to Lee Ryder we are days away from finding out the new sponsor. While details are scarce, it sounds as if a Chinese betting firm have won the rights. Not exactly the most exciting or unique shirt sponsors possible, but the money they pay to the club is more important.
The sponsorship fee, as well as the length of the deal is expected to be announced next week. A summer tour of China was apparently also discussed, but is unlikely for at least this preseason. Since the initial article doesn’t name the specific company, Twitter has predictably attempted to figure it out. Fun88 has frequently been mentioned, as well as 188Bet and 138.com. All three have been shirt sponsors for Premier League clubs before and mostly appear to move among mid-table and relegation threatened teams over the past decade.
Next year’s shirt will also feature a special 125 year anniversary badge to go with the club’s new sponsor. The full kit will be released soon, bringing a welcome end to Wonga’s place on the front an iconic shirt. With a return to the Premier League, a new sponsor, commemorative badge, and of course, Rafa Benitez, one hopes next season will be the beginning of a new era at Newcastle United!