By Tam McManus

23rd Nov, 2022 | 8:39am

Newcastle United braced for 'a lot of criticism' as new deal agreed - pundit

Newcastle United should not be afraid to bring on more Saudi-based companies as official partners.

That’s according to former Hibernian striker Tam McManus, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the club’s links to Saudi Arabia.

On 16 November, Saudi Airlines announced a partnership with Newcastle that will see the company serve as the club’s official transport partner for their winter trip to the Gulf.

This is the club’s second partnership since October 2021’s takeover with direct links to the country with Saudi company Noon serving as a sleeve sponsor.

McManus insists more deals with Saudi Arabia leaves Newcastle United open to criticism.

“Well, one of Newcastle’s strips looks like the Saudi Arabia home kit,” McManus told Football Insider‘s Ben Wild.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

“Now you see them travelling to Saudi Arabia, you do leave yourself open to a lot of criticism. The main thing for Newcastle is to win games and as long as that is happening, that is all anyone will focus on.

“No one will talk about ties to Saudi Arabia as long as the club is doing well. I don’t think it’s wrong for them to do deals with Saudi companies, it’s easier for them to do now because of their owners.

“They weren’t getting anything in under the previous owners so the club should feel free to take any opportunities that present themselves.

“But if everything at Newcastle is Saudi, the kit, the sponsors, the adverts at the stadium, then people will talk.

“Eddie Howe just needs to block that out and do his job to the best of his ability.

“His job is the football side of things, not the business.”

In other news, Football Insider updates with Newcastle United exploring new Financial Fair Play-busting plan.