Newcastle United will definitely play in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China this summer along with other Premier League clubs Manchester City, Wolves, and West Ham.
Newcastle were in the inaugural competition way back in 2003 when Sir Bobby Robson was our manager andwe finished second.
Two games will be played at Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on Wednesday, July 17, and two more games – third and the fourth place playoff games and the final – will be at Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium on Saturday 20 July.
Hongkou was the first football stadium ever to be built in China back in 1999 and has a capacity of around 33,000.
Shanghai’s Hongkou Stadium at night
Premier League Interim Chief Executive Richard Masters said this about the tournament:
“We are delighted to be bringing the Premier League Asia Trophy to China this summer and playing in both Nanjing and Shanghai will be an exciting experience for the League and our clubs.”
“The fans in Asia always offer us an extremely warm welcome and terrific support, and we look forward to seeing them in July.
“In Manchester City we have the reigning Premier League champions competing for the trophy, along with three other excellent clubs in Newcastle United, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.”
“I have no doubt the fans can expect some competitive and thrilling Premier League action.”
This will be the first time that Rafa has had to travel a considerable distance in the preseason with the Newcastle squad and it’s 11 hours nonstop from London to Shanghai by plane.
If Rafa is still the Newcastle manager in the summer, he will be of considerable interest to the Chinese fans who know all about his fabulous management record in football.
This will raise Newcastle’s global profile – something Mike Ashley said he wanted to do when he first bought the club back in the early summer of 2007.