Manchester United may have signed a football shirt sponsorship deal this week that blows their rivals out of the water, but the big news for Newcastle United fans is that they’re lagging behind arch-rivals Sunderland.
On the pitch Newcastle may have taken the plaudits last season and fully regained football supremacy in the north-east with their fifth-placed position in the Premier League table, but off it Mike Ashley seemingly has more work to do.
Sunderland have taken a leap over Newcastle in the football shirt sponsorship stakes, with their new deal that will see Invest in Africa featured on Sunderland shirts from this campaign thought to be worth £20 million a year, putting them equal fourth in European football.
This is considerably more than Newcastle’s £20m deal in two years that was signed earlier this year in January with Virgin Money, but there’s no doubt this represents progress and an increase in the revenue brought by Northern Rock’s sponsorship of the Magpies.
The deal with Virgin Money of £10m a year puts Newcastle on a par with Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan, whose deals with Autonomy & Investec and Emirates Airlines respectively, and leaves all three lying equal 9th in the football shirt sponsorship standings.
Here is the top ten…
1. MANCHESTER UNITED £30m (General Motors)
2. BARCELONA £25m (Qatar Foundation)
3. BAYERN MUNICH £23.6m (Deutche Telekom)
4. LIVERPOOL £20m (Standard Chartered)
4=. MANCHESTER CITY £20m (Etihad Airways)
4=. SUNDERLAND £20m (Invest in Africa)
7. REAL MADRID £16.8m (Bwin)
8. CHELSEA £13.8m (Samsung)
9=. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR £10m (Autonomy & Investec)
9=. AC MILAN £10m (Emirates)
9=. NEWCASTLE UNITED £10m (Virgin Money)
This is not a bad return for Newcastle, but sponsorship of St James’ Park looks no closer, so Ashley will still be looking for more revenue generating opportunities where he can.