19 May 2022

By: Sport Industry Group

Premier League club Newcastle United has released its most recent financial accounts.

The accounts include the time period in which UK businessman Mike Ashley sold the club to a Saudi-backed consortium.

Figures for the 11 months to 30 June 2021, during which Ashley was still at the helm, show turnover fell by £12.4m to £140.2m with match income slashed by 99% to £0.2m because of the absence of crowds at St James’ Park under Covid-19 restrictions.

Amanda Staveley’s 80% Saudi-backed consortium completed its takeover in October last year and has since injected almost £168 million in equity, partly in settlement of an outstanding interest-free loan owed to Ashley’s St James Holdings Limited – the figures revealed the former owner was due £106.9 million, and to fund signings in an ultimately successful bid to stave off relegation.

The world’s biggest charity football match, Soccer Aid for UNICEF, has announced that insurance and investment company Vitality will be a partner for the 2022 game. The match takes place on Sunday 12th June at the London Stadium, broadcasted live on ITV and STV.

This is the fourth time that Vitality has partnered with Soccer Aid for UNICEF. This year, it will be challenging the celebrity participants to a series of fitness-related challenges which will be shared across social media in June. Celebrities include Liam Payne, Alex Brooker, Steven Bartlett, Usain Bolt, Martin Compston and Lee Mack.

Sportradar has strengthened its portfolio of cricket products and services with the launch of Virtual Cricket In-Play. The first in-play virtual-betting solution for the sport, the new product fully leverages the power of Sportradar’s historic database to generate a ‘real-match’ cricket experience in a virtual setting and bring fans closer to the action.

Modelled on the popular T20 format of the game, Virtual Cricket In-Play’s hyper-real 3D animation engine puts the fans at the centre of 400 million unique game situations and opens new business opportunities for operators worldwide wanting to enrich engagement with the fourth most popular betting sport globally by turnover.

Wasserman has announced the appointment of George Alston as Vice President of Commercial EMEA within their Global Football Athlete Marketing division. Alston joins after five years at Khan Sport and Entertainment, where he was responsible for sponsorship sales across Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars UK. Prior to that he has held commercial roles at IMG and the Sport Business Group.

Duncan Ross, Senior Vice President of Wasserman’s Athlete Marketing Division, said, “We are delighted to welcome George to Wasserman. He joins with a superb reputation within the industry after a hugely successful five years at Fulham FC and Khan Sport Entertainment. The appointment continues the growth and expansion of our Athlete Marketing division and George will become an integral part of our EMEA operations”. 

Gateshead-based motor retail brand Vertu Motors, has announced former England player Karen Carney as its first ever football ambassador. Carney will support various activity around the brand’s football partnerships, including the PFA Vertu Motors Fans’ Player of the Month awards, while also working with Vertu Motors internally and on a number of corporate events.

Karen said, “I am delighted to be able to partner with Vertu Motors. They are a forward-thinking brand who want to make a difference to football fans and their communities. I look forward to working with them on some exciting projects in the next 12 months.”

British Cycling has announced that Group CFO of Monzo Bank James Davies has joined the organisation’s Board of Directors, while Member of Parliament for Chatham and Aylesford and former Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has joined the Board of Directors of British Cycling Events.

Both Davies and Crouch join their respective boards as Independent Directors, providing expertise and guidance to the Executive Leadership Team and wider organisation as it looks to deliver its ‘Lead our sport, inspire our communities’ strategy, which was published in September 2021.