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a global ambition; Magpies wanting to be a player on world stage Magpies show a global ambition.

Byline: Lee Ryder

NEWCASTLE UNITED will look to improve their global presence by ensuring they are amongst the Premier League's box office attractions when it comes to pre-season tours in the next few years.

United announced an excellent set of financial figures yesterday but are keen to spread their wings in the United States and the Far East, and emulate the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool in terms of worldwide shirt sales.

The Magpies missed out on a tour of South Africa last summer when broadcasters pulled the plug on the Vodacom Challenge.

It meant United missed out on several exhibition games in the US with games against MLS and English opposition lined up Stateside last year.

And while the black and whites are still not in position Turn to Page 95

to announce their summer plans just yet, Llambias told the Chronicle: "In pre-season we would like to go the States again. We're working on that. "Perhaps Brazil or the States or somewhere around that way. We were let down last year in South Africa by broadcasters." United recorded a profit of PS1.4million in the last financial year and are on course for an improved display next year. By then they will be bolstered by a cash injection from new sponsors Wonga, while another high-profile commercial deal will be announced before the end of this season.

It is understood that Wonga's decision to rename the ground St James' Park has extinguished any future threat of the naming rights at the stadium. However, ill-feeling caused by the renaming rights last year was yesterday replaced with news the average attendance at St James' Park has to 49,936 - an increase of 2,190 on last year. And Llambias today vowed to continue to make ticket sales "affordable" at St James'. He said: "We've still got the biggest family area and intermediate area where younger fans pay half. Our family area is our future. "All supporters start somewhere, normally as kids when mam or dad bring you along. Then you become a lifelong fan and those 7,500 people are very important to us.

It is a major achievement." United have also slashed ticket sales for the big Europa League tie with Benfica on April 11th for the second leg of the quarter-finals against the Portuguese giants. The Tyne-Wear derby next month though is a sell-out. Meanwhile, Llambias feels that United will finish the job of sealing survival sooner rather than later in the Premier League - and make sure they are in the top flight next season when a PS70m TV jackpot is on offer to participating clubs. When asked if United could cope if the club were relegated again he dismissed the suggestion, United will be sucked into the danger zone and said: "We are in a much healthier position to deal with it. "But I don't think we are
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 28, 2013
Words:481
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