EPL’s Magpies could head for SA- 18 May 2012 00:00:00
Newcastle United, who finished 5th in this season’s English Premier League, could be set to take part in the Vodacom Challenge – after it was revealed that negotiations were at an ‘advance stage’, according to media reports.
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur have previously taken part in the pre-season tournament that matches a Premier League team up against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
A report in the Sowetan claims that: ‘Negotiations are at an advanced stage between the organisers and management of Newcastle United. I think an announcement will be made in a few days' time.’
‘The organisers are also toying with the idea of getting Tottenham Hotspur back in the tournament because they are going back to its original format of four clubs, but the appearance fees asked by the English teams are massive.’
‘There is also a possibility that we could also see Mamelodi Sundowns participating for the first time since the inception of this tournament. You have to remember that this tournament has nothing to do with Chiefs and Pirates being sponsored by Vodacom.’
‘The cellular phone company are sponsors of the tournament, which is owned by SAIL. If Vodacom had decided not to renew its contract, SAIL would have looked for a new company to sponsor it.’
‘Vodacom re-committed itself to the tournament last week after the previous contract expired last year.’
Newcastle United surprised everyone this season, by challenging for the UEFA Champions League until the final day of the season. The Magpies eventually finished 5th, qualifying for the Europa League in their second season since promotion from the Championship.