Newcastle United PIF owners secure ‘controversial’ partnership following seven-figure deal

Newcastle United’s owners have secured a major deal with women’s tennis.

Newcastle United’s majority owners have penned a multi-year deal with the women’s tennis association after partnering with men’s tennis earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has strengthened its relationship with the sport after unveiling a ‘multi-year partnership’ with the WTA, which will see PIF sponsor the women’s rankings and ‘support their shared ambition to grow women’s professional tennis and inspire more women and girls around the world to take up the game’. In February, it was announced PIF secured a ‘seven-figure’ deal with the men’s tennis tour.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Newcastle United and PIF chairman Yasir Al-RumayyanNewcastle United and PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Newcastle United and PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan | Getty Images

PIF own 80% of Newcastle United following its £305m takeover in 2021.

The news follows the WTA confirming the season-ending championships would be held in Riyadh for the next three years- something tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert labelled ‘a significant step backward, to the detriment not just of women’s sport, but women’. Meanwhile, current World No.9 Ons Jabeur expressed her joy the tournament would be held in the Gulf kingdom.

Ons Jabeur celebrates reaching her second Wimbledon semi-finalOns Jabeur celebrates reaching her second Wimbledon semi-final
Ons Jabeur celebrates reaching her second Wimbledon semi-final | Getty Images

This year’s WTA finals will see the prize money increase by 70% to nearly £12m ($15.25m)

Marina Storti, CEO of WTA Ventures, said: “We are delighted to welcome PIF as a Global Partner of the WTA and our first-ever official naming partner of the WTA Rankings.  “Together, we look forward to sharing the journey of our talented players across the season, as we continue to grow the sport, creating more fans of tennis and inspiring more young people to take up the game.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.