The government-appointed executive chairman Ron Sandler has told MPs that the sponsorship agreements with United and the Falcons were “in the commercial interests” of the bank. However, the bank is axing sponsorship deals with county cricket clubs Middlesex and Durham.
Mr Sandler told MPs: “We have already ended a number of sponsorships that I inherited… but we have chosen to continue the sponsorship of Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons, partly because of commitments we have entered into there … and partly because I believe it is in the commercial interest of the bank that we should continue with both of these.”
Northern Rock have not disclosed the value of the current Newcastle United sponsorship, running from 2005 to 2010, although the club previously reported that commercial revenues of £25.7m (€32.2m) in the 11 months to June 30, 2006 were “enhanced by the impact of improved deals with the club’s two main sponsors Adidas and Northern Rock”.
Mr Sandler said it was essential to “maintain the roots and connections” of the business with the North-East. His comments came as he warned that the slowing housing market could curtail the bank’s recovery plans, but said he believed the bank would break-even in 2011.