Newcastle United have unveiled their new third kit, with their strip adopting the same colours as the Saudi Arabian flag.
Newcastle were taken over by Saudi Public Investment Fund in October 2021 in a £305 million deal, with the change in owners putting the Magpies among the richest clubs in world football.
The Premier League said they received "legally binding assurances" that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would not be involved in the running of the club.
Lurching in the relegation zone, the new owners parted company with Steve Bruce and replaced him with Eddie Howe, who guided the North East outfit to an 11th place finish following a £94 million January spending splurge.
And ahead of next season, Newcastle have officially launched their new third strip - which looks eerily similar to the Saudi Arabia national team's jersey but just with a different logo.
The shirt is predominantly white, with the collar, Newcastle and Castore crests, Fun88 sponsor and hemline in green.
The design and colour scheme had been rumoured but has now been made official by Newcastle on their official website, with Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles featured in the launch.
A statement on nufc.co.uk read: "Newcastle United has launched its official 2022-23 Castore third kit ahead of the new Premier League season.
“Closely following the unveiling of its classic black and white home kit for the new campaign, the club has revealed a white and green third kit, designed by the premium British sportswear brand, that will be worn on the road.”
The Saudi Arabia flag is white and green and with Newcastle 80 per cent owned by the PIF, the social media reaction came as no surprise:
Should sell well in Saudi Arabia 😜 https://t.co/tHmoJJJ8IZ— 🇬🇧Ross Johnston🇬🇧 (@rossjohnston94) June 28, 2022
If you take away all context. It is a clean kit.— Met. (@AFCMet) June 28, 2022
But that context... https://t.co/IwomYLAldY
Lol that’s actually looks like a Saudi-Arabia kit https://t.co/06mJ00QrWJ— Gooner Benu🎗 (@GunnerBenu) June 28, 2022
aesthetically, a very nice shirt— Harry 🏳️🌈🌹⚫⚪ (@SCARFYYYY) June 28, 2022
but it's such a monumentally silly decision to make for the club, I don't think it's malicious but it's beyond silly https://t.co/Ub7yqtA0l6
Wonder why they went for that colour choice 🤨 https://t.co/lMIm9rsPKa— Kieran (@KieranBlackler) June 28, 2022
Regardless of what we think of this kit aesthetically, this is just so blantantly copying the Saudi national kit. If you're buying a kit, please don't choose this one 😊 Think that's at least something we can do as supporters. https://t.co/YBZGuqG7Gg— Amund (@NordicMagpie) June 28, 2022
The kit is available to purchase online and in-store now, with the replica shirt costing £65 and the "alternate pro" shirt setting fans back a whopping £105.
Newcastle have made two signings so far this summer, tying left-back Matt Targett to a permanent deal after his loan spell - as well as drafting in England goalkeeper Nick Pope from Burnley for a fee of £10 million.
They will take on Benfica, Atalanta and Athletic Club in pre-season fixtures before their first outing of the 2022/23 campaign sees them play against newly-promoted Nottingham Forest at St James' Park on 6 August.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Newcastle
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