Everything to know on Newcastle United takeover – The Gulf countries continue to gain prominence in European football. After the United Arab Emirates took control of Manchester City in 2008 and Qatar bought Paris Saint-Germain in 2011, Saudi Arabia now has a stake in Newcastle United.
A new player has entered the fray with the aim of revolutionising the Premier League, but will they succeed?
“We are very proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football,” said Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) who will control the Magpies after paying 320 million euros to Mike Ashley.
Who are the new owners of Newcastle United?
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is one of the largest in the world, worth more than 400 billion euros, and they now control 80 percent of Newcastle. Of the remaining 20 percent, 10 percent will go to PCP Capital Partners, a consortium of investors headed by Amanda Staveley, a businesswoman with ties to the Middle East, who aided Sheikh Mansour’s purchase of Manchester City.
The remaining 10 percent will go to RB Sports & Media of the Reuben brothers, entrepreneurs with one of the largest fortunes in the United Kingdom. They complete the consortium trio that now run the Magpies.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the PIF, is the new president. According to Sky Sports, he is one of the most powerful men in Saudi Arabia. He graduated from Harvard Business School and is an important part of business circles in the country. He was appointed governor of the Public Investment Fund in September 2015 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Are they the richest team in the world?
Considering that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman controls all the country’s companies, including the PIF, boasting riches of 380 billion euros, this makes Newcastle the richest team in the world.
Why did it take so long to make the purchase?
The sale of Newcastle has taken 18 months. In April 2020, the first offer was made. Yousef Al-Obaidly (executive director of the Qatari company beIN) accused the government of Saudi Arabia of “facilitating the theft of almost three years of commercial rights of the Premier League on a global scale” through its endorsement of the pirate service beoutQ.
A battle in the middle of the geopolitical dispute between the two countries in the Middle East, as well as Amnesty International going against the potential purchase for the systematic violations of human rights in the country:
“The Premier is at risk of becoming a place of ‘cover-up’ for those who want to use the glamour and prestige of football to cover immoral actions that break international law,” said Amnesty International.
Protests have continued after the completion of the deal.
“The situation is terrible. This purchase is one more attempt to wash away human rights violations through football,” added Amnesty International.
What is the club’s situation?
Since the arrival of businessman Mike Ashley, owner of the British sportswear chain Sports Direct, in 2007, Newcastle have played twice in the Europa League and been relegated twice.
The club have not won a trophy since the 1969 Fair Cup. They are four-time league champions, six-time FA Cup winners, while they have lifted the Community Shield once.
Newcastle fans aspire to put aside the economic and sports hardships they have suffered in recent years and regain their power of the 1990s and early 2000s, when they were a competitive force and had Alan Shearer as their star player.
Since their return to the Premier League in 2017, 10th place in 2018 is their best position. Currently, they are second from bottom and have not won a game in seven games. The 29 million euros that they paid for Joe Willock was the only signing they made in the summer. Only Everton and Watford spent less.
Why did Newcastle United fans celebrate so much?
The thousands of fans who celebrated the purchase of the club on the outskirts of St James’ Park are the same ones who have been demanding the departure of Mike Ashley for years.
Instability has reigned at one of the most popular clubs in the Premier League. Ashley changed the stadium name from St James’ Park to Sports Direct Arena, and he fired many managers, including club legend Kevin Keegan, Alan Pardew and Rafa Benitez. This, combined with his mistreatment of icons such as Shearer and Jonas Gutierrez, earned his poor reputation.
“We can dare to hope again,” said former player Alan Shearer who was happy about Ashley’s departure and PIF’s arrival at Newcastle.
What is the plan now? Will they be the new Man City or PSG?
The new owners will make changes at all levels of the club, with the aim of bringing it closer to Europe and the ‘Big Six’. Their goal will be to compete against the best, but it will take time. Their first and most pressing objective is to avoid relegation.
“Newcastle deserve to be at the top of the Premier League. We want to get there. It will take time, but we will get there. We want to invest in all levels. Getting trophies means patience, investment, time,” said Amanda Staveley to Sky Sports.
What will happen to Steve Bruce and the current squad?
Current manager Steve Bruce spoke about his continuity at the helm of Newcastle and that he had no desire to leave, but he was aware that changes are afoot. Many predict that the first changes at Newcastle will be with the current coaching staff.
“We support him. We will talk to him about the signings we want to make. We have a great team, although we are looking to strengthen ourselves,” Staveley said. Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Joe Willock and Jamaal Lascelles are some of the most important players in the team, but more will soon arrive.