Sports

Saudi Arabia-led consortium completes takeover of Newcastle

A Saudi-Arabian-backed consortium on Thursday completed its purchase of Premier League club Newcastle United as the long-running takeover saga finally reached the conclusion that most of the club’s supporters are wanted.

One day, fourteen months after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) withdrew a £305 million ($415.07 million) bid to buy the North-East club from owner Mike Ashley following the Premier League’s failure to grant regulatory approval. After a deal was announced. Growing excitement on Tyneside.

After the Premier League confirmed that the struggling club had been sold to a consortium consisting of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media with immediate effect, fans began celebrating outside St James’ Park Stadium.

The acquisition, by PCP Capital Partners chief executive Amanda Staveli, marks the end of a miserable era at St James’s Park and means Newcastle will be one of the richest clubs in the world. Stavley will have a seat on Newcastle’s board of directors alongside RB Sports & Media’s Jamie Reuben.

“This is a long-term investment,” Staveley said in a statement. “Our ambition is to engage with the fans – to build a consistently successful team that regularly competes for major trophies and generates pride around the world.”

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Premier League rights holder Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will lift its ban and shut down illegal streaming services, removing a major hurdle behind the collapse. . Another hurdle came after the Premier League, which came under pressure to block the deal last year, received a “legally binding” assurance that there was a clear separation between the PIF and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while the PIF’s The presidency was carried out by the Saudi Crown. Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“All parties are delighted to have completed this process that provides certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans,” the Premier League said. Newcastle coach Steve Bruce’s fortune will be high on the agenda for new owners looking to invest in the club.

“I know everybody has a lot of questions about managers and players and things, but right now we want to get out there and review the business. We’re going to tell you all about the plans, Staveley told reporters. The deal was announced.

Hundreds of supporters of Newcastle’s so-called Toon Senna, who have opposed Ashley’s running of the club, gathered outside the stadium in drizzling rain throughout the day, buoyed by news of an impending takeover.

While they were celebrating, others said it was another example of Saudi Arabia “washing the game”.

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PIF – Saudi Arabia’s $430 billion sovereign wealth fund is at the center of a plan to transform the economy by creating new sectors and diversifying revenue away from oil. The country has increasingly sought high-profile sports assets, including signing a 10-year deal to stage F1 and hosting Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title fight in 2019. Having a club in the locker with the potential of Newcastle is a major scoop for the oil-rich nation. .

But Amnesty UK’s chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh, said earlier on Thursday that Saudi officials were “washing away their sinister human rights record with the glamor of top-flight football.”

“Instead of allowing people implicated in serious human rights violations to go to English football, we have urged the Premier League to change the trial of its owners and directors to address human rights issues,” he added.

Saudi Arabia’s government denies allegations of human rights abuses and says it is protecting national security from extremists and outside elements. Newcastle has become the 14th current Premier League club to have a majority overseas owners and fans are hoping this will mark the beginning of a new era at Manchester City, the English side since being bought by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour in 2008. Football dominates.

French club Paris Saint-Germain has also made an impact under Qatari ownership with several mega-money signings.

The takeover of Newcastle ended Ashley’s 14-year ownership, whose leadership has been deeply unpopular, with supporters accusing him of low investment and a lack of ambition. Since Ashley bought the Sleeping Giants, who last won the domestic trophy in 1955 and have not been top-flight champions since 1927, have been relegated from the Premier League twice and have not finished 10th since 2012 .

Another relegation fight ended with the team failing to win any of its opening seven league games and currently sitting second from the bottom of the table and fans are calling on Ashley and manager Bruce to leave the club.

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