Newcastle decided to drop Castore as their kit manufacturer after complaints from supporters about poor-quality merchandise.
Telegraph Sport can disclose that Newcastle received so many complaints about poor customer service, as well as some long delays in orders being delivered, that it was decided that the partnership reflected badly on the club.
Fans had also complained about the poor quality of some of the products, as well as a lack of available stock in the Castore stores in the city.
Earlier this week Telegraph Sport also reported that Aston Villa, whose kits are manufactured by Castore, have received complaints from their women’s and men’s team about the club’s shirts, which appear to become drenched by players’ sweat.
It has been stressed, though, that no problems were reported by Newcastle players with the quality or reliability of their Castore kit since the partnership began in the summer of 2021.
Castore pay around £5 million-a-year to manufacture Newcastle’s first-team kit and training wear, in a deal agreed by former owner Mike Ashley.
The contract was due to expire at the end of the 2025/26 campaign but Newcastle’s kit will now be produced by Adidas from the start of next season. The break with Castore was disclosed in the recent Amazon Prime documentary We Are Newcastle United, with the cameras following board members during a meeting with Adidas executives in Germany.
Sources say that although the Adidas deal appealed because it was far more lucrative than the Castore one it would also ensure stronger and more reliable supply chains as well as quality control. Adidas are thought to be paying about £40 million a season to manufacture and supply Newcastle’s kit for the next five years.
Newcastle’s board were also well aware of the fact that Adidas were the kit manufacturers during the most enjoyable periods in the club’s modern history under managers Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson.
A Castore spokesman said: “We are proud of our three year partnership with Newcastle United and look forward to continuing our collaboration with the club this season.”
A Newcastle statement read: “The club has found the quality of Castore products to be extremely high.
“We are proud to be wearing Castore’s well-designed, innovative training and match kits in the Premier League and Champions League and are appreciative of Castore’s support and contribution to the club’s trajectory over the last three seasons.”
Aston Villa Women complain about wet-look shirts
Aston Villa have received complaints about this season’s wet-look shirts from their women’s team players, in addition to the men’s team’s concerns that the heavy kit is weighing them down.
The latest development puts even more pressure on Villa’s Castore to find a swift solution to the problem.
Telegraph Sport revealed on Tuesday that Villa’s men’s team players had told club chiefs they are unhappy that the kit quickly becomes wet through and clings to players’ bodies when they perspire, and Villa are working with Castore to try to find a solution as quickly as possible.
It has now emerged that Villa have also received similar complaints from players in the women’s team, who are due to kick-off their season against Manchester United, live on television, on Sunday.
A source close to the women’s squad has described the kit as feeling ‘really bad’ to play in, while another separately said they are ‘deeply concerned’ and hoping for a solution.
Castore have been contacted for a response regarding the complaints of the Villa men’s and women’s players.
Villa’s women wore their new kit for all-but one of their pre-season friendlies, but wore a training top for the other. It is thought they are currently set to play in an unchanged version of the shirt this weekend, when Ward’s side will be live on BBC Two when they host United in the new season’s opening fixture on Sunday.
Villa, who finished fifth in the WSL table last term, will also be live on Sky in the second weekend of the season when they travel to Liverpool on 8 October, potentially putting the concerns about the kit in the spotlight for the opening fortnight of the WSL campaign.
Villa launched new home, away and third kits this season and are two years into what was described as being a ‘multi-year’ contract with Castore.
The club’s co-owner Nassef Sawiris owns a stake in German sports manufacturer Adidas, which has prompted speculation that Villa could look to follow Newcastle United in moving from Castore to Adidas in the future.