Newcastle United is reportedly in advanced talks with Saudi sports management company Sela to replace Fun88 as the club’s front-of-shirt sponsor.
Talks are already at the point where the deal could be implemented in time for the 2023-24 Premier League season, where Sela will be branded as Newcastle’s front-of-shirt sponsor on the team’s new kits.
This comes after Premier League clubs voted in favour of a ban on front-of-shirt sponsors of gambling and betting firms, which ultimately meant that under the new terms of the rules, Newcastle would have had until 2025 in order to find a new sponsor for its shirts.
Whilst the value of the Sela deal remains to be seen, talks could be finalised as soon as next month, with one Sky Sports source indicating that the deal could also fall through.
Sela, or Sela Sport, is a Saudi Arabia-based company who focuses on operating, managing and sponsoring various sporting events and leagues, such as gaining broadcast rights for La Liga in the MENA region, as well as becoming the commercial operator of the Saudi Premier League.
Sela’s ties to Saudi Arabia will draw inevitable links to Newcastle’s ownership group, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Since taking the club over in October 2021 for £350m, the PIF has drawn criticism from human rights activist organisations and protests from oppositions of the takeover, who believe Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations and mass wealth cause allegations of sportswashing for the Premier League.
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