Newcastle forced to stick with former owner Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct sponsor due to legal clauses put in before £305m sale – but new Saudi owners hope to have the adverts removed in the ‘short term’
- Newcastle have been forced to keep Sports Direct signs up in St James’ Park
- Legal clauses inserted by former owner Mike Ashley disallow removal of ads
- New owners led by Amanda Staveley hope ads will come down in ‘short term’
Newcastle United’s new owners have been forced to keep Sports Direct signage up inside St James’ Park due to legal clauses inserted by former owner Mike Ashley ahead of the club’s sale.
The clauses mean the new Saudi owners have not been able to remove the ads but after the takeover led by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley hopes remain they will come down in the ‘short-term’.
They were still evident during Saturday’s match against Chelsea.
The sponsorship agreement between Ashley’s sports retailer and Newcastle United runs to the end of the season.
Newcastle United have been forced to keep Sports Direct signs up inside St James’ Park
New owners led Amanda Staveley (right) hope to have the Sports Direct signs removed soon
The Mail on Sunday has discovered the club earned a total of £2,205,000 from the unpopular deals with Ashley’s retail outfit.
Despite dominating the stadium, the club received the equivalent of £157,500-a-year from Sports Direct under Ashley.
Ashley sparked fans’ fury when he renamed St James’ Park the Sports Direct Arena in 2011 to help boost his retail sales.
The name St James’ Park returned the following year when loans company Wonga announced it would reinstate it after acquiring the naming rights at the same time it secured a four-year shirt sponsorship deal.
Mike Ashley has had clauses put in that dismiss the possibility of the signs being taken down