Newcastle United have announced that official shirt sponsor FUN88 will remain as the club’s primary partner after a new long-term commercial agreement was reached.
The Asian brand offers sports betting, live casinos, slots and keno games in multiple languages and will continue to feature on the front of players’ shirts and training wear having done so since 2017.
Magpies fans think the deal extension means that the takeover is over, and many took to Twitter to react to the official update thus:
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 20, 2020
that’s definitely no takeover then
— joe 🖖🏼 (@ste_v0) July 20, 2020
I'm not sure I'm afraid, Bobby. Was news to me.
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) July 20, 2020
Doesn't sound like a takeover is "imminent" does it?
— Mouth of the Tyne 🗣️📢 (@ToonMouthTyne) July 20, 2020
I’d say take over done and dusted
— kyle (@kyleclifford77) July 20, 2020
Looks like thats that then, nice while it lasted
— Jay D (@allypally9) July 20, 2020
Instant reaction is this is not a good sign for the takeover however the statement is quite vague and doesn't say how many years it will be on the shirts just it will be a 'partner' long term. The new shirts need printed and distributed so I'm clutching at this being the reason.
— SB (@SBNUFC) July 20, 2020
Think the biggest red flag for this Takeover has just dropped.
— Dean Woods (@wuds100) July 20, 2020
Thats a big sign this is off. Short term i could go with. But long term indicates they are planning life without the takeover #nufc
— Chris (@chrisburrage) July 20, 2020
No takeover then
— craig elrington (@elmandhk) July 20, 2020
Fun while it lasted. Buzzing to challenge for 17th place again next season #NUFC
— Travis Manning (@TravisManning_) July 20, 2020
There is no takeover
— guy rooney (@guyrooney2) July 20, 2020
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is looking to seal a £300 million takeover of the St. James’ Park outfit alongside PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers.
However, the Premier League has taken almost 17 weeks running its Owners’ and Directors’ Test, and it remains to be seen when a verdict on the Newcastle takeover will be delivered.
Saudi further complicated matters by permanently banning beIN Sports from broadcasting in their kingdom, and there is no legal way to watch Premier League games over there right now.
Newcastle are preparing for the future and aren’t keen to keep waiting for the takeover before making necessary moves, and extending their working relationship with FUN88 could mean nothing when it comes to having a say on the success of the Saudi deal.