NEWCASTLE’S £300million Saudi takeover has been CONFIRMED – with Mike Ashley gone and Steve Bruce facing the axe.
The deal has been rubber-stamped by the Premier League, bringing an end to Ashley’s 14-year reign and transforming the Magpies into the richest club in the world.
Newcastle are officially under new ownership after the Saudi-backed consortium took control from Mike Ashley[/caption]
Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign as Newcastle over has finally come to an end[/caption]
Newcastle fans celebrate the takeover outside the stadium[/caption]
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will own 80 per cent, with the billionaire Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley taking 10 per cent each.
In a flash, the Toon now have the wealthiest owners in world football – worth a staggering £320BILLION – dwarfing the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
With the piracy issue finally resolved, the Premier League signed off on the mega deal on Wednesday night.
And it brings an end to a near two-year saga which began last January when a £300m agreement was reached with Ashley.
In a statement, the Premier League said: “The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
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“Following the completion of the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect.
“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.
All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”
Newcastle tweeted: “An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund, and also comprising PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, has completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited from St. James Holdings Limited.”
Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners, added: “This is a long-term investment.
“We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.
“We intend to instill a united philosophy across the Club, establish a clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.
“Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe.”
All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.
Premier League statement
Club legend Alan Shearer told fans they can “dare to hope again” as they wildly celebrated the news in the streets around St James’ Park.
The buyers pulled out last July after the Prem failed to give approval, with most of the Toon Army fearing it was dead in the water.
But after the Saudi government lifted its ban on Qatar broadcaster beIN Sports, the green light was finally given for the takeover to be completed.
And now attention will turn to Saudi Arabia’s ‘dire’ human rights record.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is the chair of the PIF and was implicated in approving the 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Gary Lineker tweeted: “Football fans want their clubs to succeed, but at what price? The dilemma facing NUFC supporters.”
While Amnesty International urged the Premier League to ‘overhaul their standards’ regarding human rights.
The human rights organisation stated the deal was an attempt to “sportswash their appalling human rights record with the glamour of top-flight football.”
And CEO Sacha Deshmukh said: “Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues.
“The phrase ‘human rights’ doesn’t even appear in the owners’ and directors’ test despite English football supposedly adhering to Fifa standards.
“As with Formula One, elite boxing, golf or tennis, an association with top-tier football is a very attractive means of rebranding a country or person with a tarnished reputation.
“The Premier League needs to better understand the dynamic of sportswashing and tighten its ownership rules.”
Businessman and husband of Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi gives a thumbs up[/caption]
Steve Bruce is expected to be sacked imminently following the club’s takeover[/caption]
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