Northern Rock will continue with its shirt sponsorship of Newcastle United. The bank’s current deal with the club runs until 2010, but executive chairman Ron Sandler said there were no plans to ditch the contract, despite the deal effectively involving taxpayers’ money.
Northern Rock refused to comment on the value of the current sponsorship, signed in 2005, although Newcastle United’s commercial revenues of £25.7m (€32.2m) in the 11 months to June 30 2006 were "enhanced by the impact of improved deals with the club’s two main sponsors Adidas and Northern Rock", according to the club’s annual report.
Northern Rock will also continue its sponsorship of rugby team Newcastle Falcons although it is axing deals with county cricket clubs Middlesex and Durham, Mr Sandler said.
Northern Rock executive chairman Ron Sandler told MPs that it was in the bank's interest to continue with the sponsorships.
"We have already ended a number of sponsorships that I inherited," he said.
"But we have chosen to continue the sponsorship of Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons, partly because of commitments we have entered into there — sometimes sponsorships continue until they come to a contractual end — and partly because I believe it is in the commercial interest of the bank that we should continue with both of these."