EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle will host a Saudi Arabian youth side in November
EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle will host a Saudi Arabia Under-19 side in a friendly on Tyneside during the mid-season World Cup break – the first time a team from the country has visited since £305m takeover last year – in strengthening of links with the Gulf State
- Newcastle will welcome several U-19 sides to play friendly matches in November
- The Magpies are also currently pursuing commercial deals with Saudi partners
- Newcastle’s academy will play Saudi White Falcons and Saudi Green Falcons
Newcastle United will host a Saudi Arabian national team on Tyneside later this month, as links between the club and country of their majority owners are strengthened.
Sportsmail understands that Saudi White Falcons, consisting of players aged up to 19, will face a Newcastle academy XI at the end of November as part of a series of friendlies that also includes fixtures against Saudi Green Falcons, another under-age side.
It will be the first time a Saudi team has visited the UK since the takeover of the club last October, and it comes just a few days before Eddie Howe’s senior squad leave for a week-long stay in Riyadh as part of a mid-season break during the World Cup. They will play Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal on December 8.
The links between Newcastle and Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s home country of Saudi Arabia are set to be further strengthened when the Magpies host a national youth side
Newcastle are currently exploring several commercial deals with Saudi partners and are looking to tap into the country’s young population. The trips to the Gulf State, the green-and-white change kit and friendly matches across all age groups are seen as key to forging that relationship.
When asked about the prospect of Saudi sponsorship last month, chief executive Darren Eales said: ‘Absolutely. It would make sense in terms of some of the doors that could be opened by PIF. They invest in a number of countries globally.
‘I also think when you look at a country like Saudi Arabia with a young population – 36million and growing – football is the No1 sport and there is some natural affinity there in terms of the commercial value of having an association with Newcastle.’
David Eales (R) claimed the prospect of Saudi sponsorship at Newcastle would ‘make sense’
Eddie Howe and his first team squad are set to travel to Saudi Arabia over the World Cup break
Also taking part in the Under-19 friendly matches between November and March are Villarreal, PAOK FC and Austria Vienna.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s owners have invested a further £70.4million into the club to help with infrastructural and day-to-day running costs.
Eales said: ‘We are at the beginning of a long-term plan that aims to build a club that can compete consistently at the highest levels of English and European football.
‘We need to develop the whole business, as well as the playing squad. And we need to do so while adhering to the Financial Fair Play rules. This additional investment further enables us to continue implementing the business plan.’
Newcastle have received a further £70.4million investment from their owners this week
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