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On Tour With Newcastle United

10 years ago

It looks increasingly likely that Newcastle United will head to South Africa as the main focus of their pre-season preparations.

Obviously the club’s stock has risen with both finishing fifth and the profile of some of our best players, meaning that the club have risen up the popularity list and led to plenty  pre-season offers coming in.

Another by-product of the on-field success is that as well as the increased revenue that comes directly from winning matches, the club will also make a few quid from whatever they end up doing pre-season.

Another chance to help grow the club organically, though obviously whatever Newcastle earn from such friendly matches will still be chicken feed compared to the likes of Manchester United.

The Vodacom Challenge, a four-team tournament that is hosted by the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, was in severe doubt until Vodacom recently agreed to renew their sponsorship..

If they reach agreement, it is almost certain that Newcastle would be the headline participant and be suitably rewarded, it’s not quite up to the heady days of pre-season in the Isle Of Man tournament circa 1980s but the world is a much smaller place these days.

Hopefully if the South African tour comes off it will strike the right balance of decent pre-season games and a few extra quid, while at the same time not falling into the trap the likes of Manchester United sometimes fall into of doing too much pre-season to appease sponsors and fans around the world, grabbing every penny available.

The options open for pre-season were massively limited thanks to St.James’ Park having the honour of hosting Olympic football matches from 26th July to 4th August. It isn’t just the dates the matches are taking place but also the fact that St.James’ Park has to be….St.James’ Park during the Olympics because of rules regarding sponsors names etc.

Newcastle are also strongly linked with a possible pre-season match against Sporting Lisbon, also at a venue that isn’t….St.James’ Park.


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