News in the Sowetan today that negotiations for Newcastle United to tour South Africa and play in the Vodacom Challenge tournament.
Alan Pardew – taking his team to South Africa
The off-season tournament was initiated back in 1999, and is hosted by Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, and an announcement is expected shortly.
A source close to the negotiations has told the Sowetan:
“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.”
It’s interesting that the fee asked by English clubs is massive, and Tottenham may also be involved, but there again the Premier League clubs play in the most popular sports league in the world, and Mike Ashley also owns Newcastle. 😀
We’ve had a few of South African readers write in this week, and say they think the tour is going to take place, but the news today in the Sowetan is the first word we have seen in print.
Alan Pardew after Sunday’s game said that the Newcastle fans deserved to go to a nice warm place this summer – so that’s a decent hint too.
We would expect Newcastle to make an announcement on this in the next day or two.