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SBD Global/October 11, 2012/Franchises

Newcastle Director Derek Llambias Optimistic Over Club's Financial Future

Newcastle United Managing Dir Derek Llambias is "confident the events of the past fortnight have helped to secure the long-term future of the club," according to the PA. Club Owner Mike Ashley secured Manager Alan Pardew and his coaching staff on eight-year contracts and agreed to a sponsorship deal with loan company Wonga.com, meaning the name of the stadium will revert back to St. James' Park. There was "disquiet in some quarters" Tuesday at the club's association with the Wonga brand, but "as the dust settled," Llambias was "wearing a satisfied smile." Llambias said, "It's been a big fortnight -- a very big fortnight. For me, it's all about stability. It's all about the season for us now. It's about getting the injuries cleared up -- but that's Alan's job. Thank God I don't have to get too involved in that" (PA, 10/10).

MUSLIMS CONSIDER BOYCOTT: The London DAILY MAIL reported that Newcastle now faces "a tricky situation" with several of its senior players. Under Sharia law, Muslims "must not benefit from either lending money or receiving money from another person -- meaning that interest is prohibited." Interest is not paid on Islamic bank accounts or added to mortgages. Players Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa are all "practising Muslims." They may "follow the stance" of former La Liga Sevilla FC striker Freddie Kanoute, who refused to wear the logo of gambling website 888.com on his shirt because of "his religious beliefs" (DAILY MAIL, 10/10).
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