Saudi takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United
A Saudi Arabian-backed consortium completed its purchase of Premier League club Newcastle United on Thursday as a long-running takeover saga finally reached the conclusion the majority of the club’s supporters desired.
Fourteen months after Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) withdrew a $415.07 million bid to buy the club from owner Mike Ashley following the Premier League’s failure to give regulatory approval, a deal was announced after a day of mounting excitement on Tyneside.
After the Premier League confirmed 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 the St James’ Park stadium.
A statement from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of PIF who will become non-executive chairman of Newcastle, said the deal would mean long-term investment to “harness the club’s potential and build upon the club’s legacy.
“We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United. We thank the fans for their loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them,” he said.
The takeover ends an unhappy era at St James’ Park and means Newcastle will be one of the world’s richest clubs.
A rapid sequence of events reignited the deal after Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, a Premier League rights holder, said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would lift a ban on it and also shut down illegal streaming services, removing a major obstacle behind the collapsed takeover.