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Magpies to take boys to Brazil; Pre-season tour mooted MAGPIES PLANNING TRIP TO BRAZIL.

Byline: Mark Douglas ? (0191) 201-6281 ?

DEREK Llambias has revealed that Newcastle United are considering a trip to Brazil for pre-season as part of a four-year plan to push the club's global brand. United's managing director is urging supporters to frame the club's controversial sponsorship deal with Wonga as part of a concerted effort to grow the business over the next few years. For while United's deal with Wonga has been debated in the court of public opinion over the last 48 hours, Llambias (pictured below) is adamant that it will help the club to achieve its long-term aims of competing on-and-off the field with the Premier League's elite clubs. Llambias batted back talk of Wonga's practices being unethical and said that the PS8million-a-year deal will help boost the club's Academy as well as their community programmes. It will also help to support their ambition of pushing Newcastle, who enjoy tremendous local and national profile, into international markets which have been dominated by a few Premier League clubs. They plan to announce further sponsorship deals and commercial tie-ins over the next few months including some international partnerships intended to grow their reputation overseas. Part of that will mean taking the club to foreign shores for pre-season - with the club keen to explore options in Brazil, who will host the next World Cup in 2014. Newcastle had hoped to pocket a substantial amount of sponsor money and increase their exposure in Africa last summer - only for a proposed tournament in South Africa to fall through a few weeks before it was due to start. But this year, Newcastle are already looking at a potential South American tour before the new season. "We're trying to improve all the time, our next step is to try and improve globally," Llambias said. "We're overseas, which is great but it's not global and this whole brand n eeds to be global. That's our next target over the next three or four years - to try and get sponsorships in a global environment. Maybe that puts another player on the pitch." A big part of the globalisation project is to take the team to new frontiers as part of pre-season. Two years ago Newcastle's trip to America was seen as an attempt to begin this process and while South Africa fell through, there are ambitious plans afoot to take the team out of Europe. Last year, United chose to stay on the Continent to get them ready for the Europa League while Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool all embarked on moneyspinning global trips that Llambias would like to see Newcastle try. "Yes, we're talking about pre-season (Brazil). The World Cup's coming up so it's a good opportunity. "We're also working on different products. It's a game plan we've been working on for a while. It's a slow process - you can't do it overnight. Liverpool didn't do it overnight, Manchester United didn't. It's a slow proce ss . "Newcastle is a big brand. We just need to get it out there with more backing from different communities." After a second day of controversy for United, Llambias was also left to reflect on the thin line between criticism and praise in football. Essentially, though, he feels that his success will be measured by what sort of side Alan Pardew is able to field. "I'm not sure that's what it's about for Mike and I. It's all about the management of the team," he added.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Oct 11, 2012
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