Major Newcastle United deal ‘verified’ ahead of expected agreement

Newcastle United are in advanced talks over a new main sponsor.

Newcastle United are close to finalising their new front-of-shirt sponsor in what will be a record deal for the football club.

News broke on Wednesday morning that the Magpies were in advanced talks with Saudi Arabia events company Sela to replace Fun88.

Earlier this season, Newcastle chiefs negotiated an early exit with the online gambling company to end their five-year partnership, worth around £6.5million per season.

United have held talks with three Middle-Eastern based, though it is growing increasingly likely that Sela will secure a long-term deal.

Sela operates in dozens of countries and organises big sporting events including the Race of Champions and sources claimed the company was the leading contender to broker a sponsorship deal.

The company was founded in 1995 as Sela Sport and claims to be the first athlete representation group to be recognised by FIFA. Sela also has strong links to the Saudi Arabia men’s football side.

Newcastle, who are 80 per-cent owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, and Sela’s proposed partnership is set to attract scrutiny from Premier League rivals because the company is headquartered in Jeddah.

But according to sources close to Daily Mail, documentation has already been filed to the Premier League and independently verified as being of fair market value. The reported £25m-a-year agreement will be the biggest sponsorship deal in Newcastle’s history.

Under the rules, major commercial deals must be agreed at ‘fair market value’ with an assessment undertaken by an independent third party. Although a deal cannot technically be stopped, clubs could be forced to renegotiate if they are not deemed to be consistent with market prices.

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