Fans attending the National League North Boxing Day fixture between Blyth Spartans and Spennymoor Town will have caught a glimpse of one of the most unusual commercial link ups in Non-League football.
On the side of the pitch at Blyth’s Croft Park home, an advertising board has been leased to the travel company Visit North Korea, who offer tours to the infamous totalitarian state.
The advertising board received somewhat of a mixed reaction among the club’s faithful, but Blyth’s commercial manager Mark Scott is standing by the agreement for now.
In a statement in the club’s match day programme on Boxing Day, Scott attempted to address any potential supporter concerns, saying: “Visit North Korea provides expert led travel with an emphasis on engagement in the world’s most secretive country – The Democratic Republic of Korea.
“Having never visited the Far East before I was quickly calling club Chairman Tony Platten who had just returned from Japan and Nepal to reveal the latest enquiry and he was as intrigued as me.
“Having seen the recent Michael Palin documentary I was certainly interested by the country despite negative views on the country’s politics.”
Meanwhile, when asked for a comment, the travel firm stated: “Although it is unique and unconventional, Visit North Korea is nevertheless proud to be able to help support the great English game at a local level.
“In the process, by promoting our program we aim to help people broaden their horizons and think differently about the world.”
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