By Kieran Maguire

6th Dec, 2021 | 7:00am

Kieran Maguire: Newcastle fans will love 'encouraging' commercial deal update

Sports Direct’s contract with Newcastle United will be allowed to “wither on the vine as it slowly dies”.

So says finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the latest developments coming out of St James’ Park.

Newcastle have been closely associated with Sports Direct since Mike Ashley’s takeover back in 2007.

The sports retailer’s branding features prominently at St James’ Park and across the club’s digital media channels.

But the partnership is nearing its end after control of Newcastle passed to the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund in October (2021).

Papers filed with Companies House last Thursday (26 December) show that Newcastle settled three outstanding loans from Ashley’s holding company.

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Maguire claims this is the latest step in severing all ties with the Ashley regime and that Sports Direct’s days as a partner are numbered.

“The new owners are increasing their equity basis of the football club,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“They are shoring up the balance sheet with equity, which is always really encouraging to see.

“It’s all part of Mike Ashley’s exit strategy, which historically will not be looked upon with great favour by the fanbase.

“Sports Direct is an existing contract that will be allowed to wither on the vine as it slowly dies.”

The new owners, who have an estimated worth of over £378billion, have catapulted Newcastle to the top of the game’s financial standings.

But the Magpies are rock-bottom of the Premier League table after 14 matches.

In other news, Danny Mills issues “ridiculous” Newcastle United claim after news today.