Castore speak out about timing of 'one-sided' Newcastle deal as 'riding high' admission made

Castore timed their previous partnership with Newcastle United 'well' because the Magpies were not 'riding high' initially.

That is according to Castore co-founder Tom Beahon after the sports manufacturer became Newcastle's kit supplier in 2021. At the time, Newcastle were far from a side with the ambition and capabilities to disrupt the established order.

It was the final throes of the Ashley era, where Steve Bruce's remit was to keep Newcastle 'just ticking along', and this particular commercial deal had some curious terms that in the words of Magpies barrister Thomas de la Mare, 'suited Sports Direct'. In fact, the Court of Appeal heard last month that even Castore's founders were 'effectively embarrassed' about the 'very one-sided' nature of it.

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The consequences of the arrangement were keenly felt in the years after the takeover. Castore were granted exclusive production, sponsorship, retail and distribution rights for all club-licensed products and non-sports products. There was no right for the club to receive any sales royalty or sales data. There was no requirement for Castore to pay interest on late payments. The brand even held a 'significant penalty break fee'.

Newcastle, of course, have since terminated the deal to team up with Adidas in a lucrative arrangement that has enabled the black-and-whites to take control of their own retail operations. Castore, meanwhile, have partnered with Everton as both a kit supplier and a first founding partner of the club's new stadium, which will give the brand access to enhanced commercial opportunities and media rights at the Toffees' new home when it opens next summer. Castore are taking a 'long-term view' once again, like the brand did with Newcastle, and Everton could soon be set for a takeover of their own.

“We will take a long-term view when we look at potential partners," Beahon told the Athletic. "We’re not saying ‘That team is riding high so let’s partner with them’ because sport is inherently cyclical.

"We timed it well with Newcastle, [Bayer] Leverkusen, [Athletic] Bilbao and Feyenoord - the final three won trophies and Newcastle made the Champions League. They weren’t necessarily all riding high when we partnered with them."