Connect in the back of the net

You’d find it hard to locate a Newcastle fan that is unhappy with Wonga not being able to offer a new sponsorship deal for Newcastle United.

The struggling payday loan company has sponsored the shirt for the last couple of years and it has never rested easy with the Geordie faithful. The idea of having an exploitative company on the front of the shirts of a club in whose stadium’s shadow sits many food banks and local charity shops always seemed to clash with the region and the club’s historic moral ethics.

Albeit, a Chinese gambling company is hardly a huge improvement, and on an aesthetic level, the sponsor looks just as bad on the shirt, if not worse than Wonga’s did.

The very idea that the sponsor isn’t allowed on children’s shirts in this country tells you all you need to know about it – it was of huge monetary value to the club and nothing else.

 

Biggest in Newcastle’s history

The deal, the biggest in Newcastle’s history and putting them in the top 10 highest sponsors in the league, is positive in regards to the increased transfer kitty that Rafa is likely to have, but rather spoils the commemorative 125th anniversary shirt and crest that will be on display this season.

The kit launch featured some of Newcastle’s current squad, as well as club legends like Bob Moncur and Peter Beardsley.

The club had held talks with some UK-based companies as well as Brown Ale, the decision was made to have the Chinese-firms logo emblazoned on the chest for the return to the Premier League.

It’s a shame that Brown Ale, who is owned by Heineken, couldn’t or didn’t want to sponsor the team this year as shirt sales would likely have gone through the roof for a return of that magnitude.

For all its faults on the front, however, the retro red numbers and letters on the back of the shirt are a welcome addition and one that many fans have been clamouring after for years.

 

Fruitful relationship with Puma

It seems that the club has worked closely with the manufacturer Puma this year as well.

In the past, it appears that only the top clubs with Puma have had bespoke kits made whereas Newcastle have been given generic kits, away shirts and goalkeeping tops that have been almost identical to that of many clubs across Europe.

With the simple design, red lettering and special crest, the shirt will likely go down as one of the club’s best in history.

Following that theme, there will be no surprise that the players will want to emulate the legends who have worn the shirt before them that this current top is based off – the Newcastle fans will hope that one day, the shirt will be looked back on in high spirits when they talk about the players who wore it to their children and grandchildren.

 

Written by Euan Hamilton

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