Newcastle United's new owners make key off-field appointment

Newcastle United have made a key off-field appointment.

The club has recruited experienced sports lawyer John Devine, of Muckle LLP, to its legal team. Devine, a United fan, was one of the six Chelsea Foundation trustees who were handed stewardship of the Chelsea in March before then-owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Newcastle had advertised in February for “one or more experienced commercial lawyers to oversee the legal aspects of the club's broad and complex commercial operations”.

St James's Park.

The job description gave a revealing insight into the worldwide ambitions of the club’s new owners.

There was also a hint at the expected new sponsorship deals which are being lined up by the club, which is 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund following last October’s takeover.

It read: "We're at the start of a journey.

"Newcastle United's new owners have one ambition: to be the best football club in the world.

“To fulfil this ambition, the club aims to create a business that is 'best in class' in all respects, and, as part of this, we are looking to hire one or more experienced commercial lawyer(s) to oversee the legal aspects of the club's broad and complex commercial operations, including high-value sponsorship arrangements, at the start of what promises to be a very exciting period for the club.

"The candidate will also be working with the general counsel and external counsel on a variety of legal matters across the club's business, including player transfers, intellectual property matters, corporate governance and compliance matters.”