Newcastle United extends shirt deal with Fun88

Premier League club Newcastle United has extended its main shirt sponsorship with Asian-facing betting operator Fun88.

The new deal is described by the club as a “long-term commercial agreement”.

Fun88 has been on the front of the players’ shirts and training wear at United for the last three years. The previous deal was thought to be worth about £6m (€6.6m/$7.5m) per year.

Asia-based Fun88, established in 2008, offers sports betting, live casinos, slots and keno games in multiple languages. It has used the United sponsorship to expand its reach globally, but especially in Asia.

Under the previous deal, the brand also engaged locally with fans in competitions for tickets and shirt giveaways.

Lee Charnley, managing director at Newcastle United, said: “Building on the success of our partnership to date, we look forward to this next phase and working together to engage fans and grow our collective reach around the globe.”

The deal comes at a pivotal moment for the club which is the subject of a takeover bid from a Saudi Arabian consortium.

The proposed £300m Newcastle takeover deal is 80-per-cent financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, led by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

The current owner, Mike Ashley, owner of the Sports Direct sports retail chain, agreed to the deal in April, however it is up to the Premier League to ratify any change of ownership at the club.

Opposition to the bid has focused on human rights abuses in the country and, more latterly, a ruling by the World Trade Organisation against the Saudi broadcaster beoutQ for illegally broadcasting a range of professional sports, including the Premier League.

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