In an effort to surpass Manchester United as the nation’s most popular club, Newcastle United asked the Saudi Arabian national side to play at St. James’ Park.

The president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, Yasser Al Misehal, made this statement prior to Roberto Mancini’s team playing the second of two friendly at Newcastle’s stadium. On Tuesday night, Saudi Arabia will play South Korea at St. James’ – just four days after losing 3-1 to Costa Rica in front of about 5,000 spectators.

“We were given the chance to come to Newcastle. “At the beginning of the year, we received a wonderful invitation letter from the club’s CEO, Darren Eales, via the British Embassy in Riyadh to begin the cooperation and perhaps some programs to aid, in particular, our women’s national squad.

Welcome to Newcastle United – Darren Eales, new CEO. -

“Our technical team visited Newcastle, where they looked into the possibilities. We and the gamers will both benefit greatly from the site.

As the black-and-whites want to expand the club’s fan base and increase commercial revenues, senior Newcastle officials have frequently discussed their goal of being the most watched team in Saudi Arabia. With 63% of the population under 30 playing football, it is the most popular sport in Saudi Arabia. Newcastle wants to reach this young audience, whether it be by partnering with front-of-shirt sponsor Sela as a “key gateway into that market” or by using Adidas’ marketing expertise to “capture this young demographic,” in the words of chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone. Even though Al Misehal stated PIF had no direct role in staging them, these friendlies felt like the most recent move.

We haven’t yet discussed this with anyone at PIF, to be quite honest,” he said. “It was done immediately with the club’s CEO.

“It is tremendously advantageous for both parties that the PIF, an independent body, owns the majority of the club’s shares. Promoting Newcastle’s fan base in Saudi Arabia is one of the goals, especially at this point. The Saudi national team playing at St James’ Park is a very helpful tool because many other English clubs may have a larger fan base in Saudi Arabia.

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