Newcastle United have agreed to a £ 20 million shirt sponsorship deal with Virgin Money for a period believed to be around two years, after a breakthrough in the contract negotiations between the two parties.

Newcastle and Virgin had been locked in contract talks for weeks before the owner of Virgin Sir Richard Branson agreed to bail out cash-stricken Newcastle based bank Northern Rock and buy all the shares.

According to the reports that were received, the deal was concluded late on Tuesday, the 3rd of January, 2012 when Virgin Money agreed to meet the demands of the club and signed on the dotted line.

The club played its first match with their shirt emblazoned with the logo of the new sponsors in the 3-0 rout of English champions Manchester United on the 4th of January – a shock result that allowed some fans to make serious money by backing Newcastle at some of the best online football betting odds this season.

The new shirt sponsorship deal has gone a long way in securing the club’s financial stability, coming as quickly as it does after a deal to rename the famous St. James’ Park to the Sports Direct Arena was concluded a couple of months back, bringing in extra cash for the club.

Northern Rock, which had been the shirt sponsors for the club for almost eight years in a deal that ran until the end of the current season, was taken over by Virgin Money on New Year’s Day this year and this led to complications in their contractual obligations with the club.

It is believed that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley will offer Virgin Money the chance to combine their shirt sponsorship deal with the naming rights of the stadium and bring an end to the controversy over renaming the stadium.