EPL Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé "has reached a truce" in his dispute over Newcastle's shirt sponsorship deal with money lender Wonga and "will start training with his team-mates on Friday," according to John Percy of the London TELEGRAPH. Cissé's feud with Newcastle "appears to be over after extensive talks" with the PFA "ended in a resolution." Cissé, a Muslim, "has objected to the club's sponsorship deal with Wonga." The PFA, Muslim clerics and Cissé's agent "have all been involved in the negotiations" (TELEGRAPH, 7/25). In London, Louise Taylor reported Cissé "became increasingly aware" that neither Newcastle Owner Mike Ashley nor Wonga "were prepared to countenance him wearing either charity or non-branded kit." His case "appeared undermined earlier this week when photographs of him in a Tyneside casino, apparently gambling, were published." Meanwhile, he was reminded that "although the giving or receiving of interest is prohibited under sharia law, he was happy to wear the logo of Newcastle's previous sponsors, Virgin Money, last season." Also, the "breaking of a contract is frowned upon in Islam," and Newcastle has "made it clear Cissé has been very well looked after at St James' Park, with the club even building a special prayer room at their training ground for the squad's Muslim contingent" (GUARDIAN, 7/25).
Marketing and Sponsorship
Riis Cycling said in a statement on Thursday that cycling team Saxo-Tinkoff Owner Bjarne Riis has "ended negotiations to extend a sponsorship deal with Russia's Tinkoff Bank," according to Philip O'Connor of REUTERS. Riis's team finished the 2013 Tour de France at the top of the team classification, but Riis said that "finding common ground to renew the sponsorship deal with Tinkoff had proved impossible." Riis said, "During the course of our extensive negotiations with Tinkoff Bank it has become clear that we are unable to settle on common views and the ideas that are necessary for our partnership to grow and be successful. Most importantly, we disagree on how the team should be run. For all of these reasons, I have decided to explore other possibilities and end the negotiations with Tinkoff Bank" (REUTERS, 7/25). The EP reported Tinkoff Bank Owner Oleg Tinkoff was critical of Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador of Saxio-Tinkoff, who finished fourth. Tinkoff said on Twitter, "He is too rich and lacks hunger in my opinion. He has to work harder." Riis also thanked Tinkoff and wished the company luck. Riis: "I would like to thank Oleg Tinkoff personally and Tinkoff Bank for its contributions to the club. We hope to work with them for the rest of the season and wish them the best in the future" (EP, 7/25).
Man City has agreed to a three-year partnership with recruiting company Hays that will see the company become the club's official recruitment partner (Man City). ... French multinational media firm Lagardère Unlimited has consolidated its events and marketing business in Scandinavia under a new branch, Lagardère Unlimited Scandinavia, which will be dedicated to the development of sports marketing services and sport events (Lagardère Unlimited). ... The Association of clubless Golf Players (VcG), which is with more than 22,000 members one of the most important supporters of golf in Germany, will become an official sponsor of the Solheim Cup 2015. The women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup, which will be broadcast in 140 countries, will take place at the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot from Sept. 18-20, 2015 (VcG). ... The South Stand at Portsmouth's Fratton Park will be sponsored by Fareham-based company L&S Waste Management this season (Portsmouth FC). ... The Soccerex African Forum in October will move to Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium, while pay-TV broadcaster SuperSport has agreed a two-year partnership for the event (SOCCEREX, 7/25). ... ManU "chose a samurai-era castle in the Japanese city of Osaka on Thursday to unveil their new away kit, with the gingham check from the city's industrial heritage intact." The new shirt, featuring the gingham used on last season's home shirt "with a bigger, bolder design, was introduced in the grounds of Osaka Castle" (AFP, 7/25). ... Scottish Premiership side Dundee United has struck a long-term deal with Tickets.com (Dundee). ... StubHub has agreed to a partnership with Premiership side Gloucester Rugby (Gloucester Rugby).