NEWCASTLE will have the wealthiest owners in world football by some distance once their £300million takeover finally goes through.
The Toon are on the brink of being in the hands of a Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund worth a staggering £320BILLION after the Gulf state’s piracy row with neighbours Qatar finally ended.
Providing the deal is structured similarly to the original offer, Yasir Al-Rumayyan – a close associate of Saudi royalty Mohammed bin Salman – will become new chairman, with his powerful friend also backing the Magpies’ takeover.
Following the deal’s completion, the Saudi consortium are expected to own 80 per cent of the club – with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers evenly splitting the remaining 20 per cent.
And just to highlight just how much money will be poured into Newcastle, SunSport have compared them against the richest football club owners across the globe.
Amazingly their fortune is over ten times more than Man City’s billionaires and almost FIFTY TIMES more than Paris Saint-Germain’s Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
Here’s how they made their dosh.
1. Newcastle – Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund – £320bn
After 14 years of Mike Ashley at the helm, Newcastle are essentially about to be owned by the Saudi Arabian state.
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund invests on behalf of the country’s government.
The Toon can be certain of eye-watering spending after Ashley’s stingy tenure, with the gulf state one of the richest in the world.
Chaired by the controversial Mohammed bin Salman, and governed by Al-Rumayyan – the St James’ Park outfit will be run by some of the world’s most powerful people.
But while the prospect of big-spending may be exciting, some supporters will feel uncomfortable about the country’s appalling human rights record.
2. Man City – Sheikh Mansour – £23.3bn
Sheikh Mansour bought City in September 2008, immediately transforming them into a global powerhouse.
Mansour is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and comes from the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
The 50-year-old has since also acquired New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos, among others, via the City Group.
Day-to-day running of the club is delegated to trusted lieutenant Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
Like Newcastle’s Saudi owners, Mansour’s City ownership has been accused of being a blatant attempt at ‘sportswashing’ by many human rights groups.
3. RB Salzburg, RB Leipzig – Dietrich Mateschitz – £15.7bn
Austrian entrepreneur Mateschitz made his fortune while attempting to nurse a hangover in Thailand.
The energy drink Red Bull was already popular among Thai workers following its invention in 1970s by businessman Chaleo Yoovidhya.
Mateschitz became fond of the drink and reached out to the Thai company’s founders and offered them a 49 percent share in the company if they were willing to let him tweak the formula and expand it internationally.
He took it across the globe but it wasn’t until it hit US shelves in 1997 when the brand grew massively.
Mateschitz invested his cash in sport particularly into Formula One but also branched out to football.
In April 2005, he purchased Austrian side SV Austria Salzburg, later renamed as Red Bull Salzburg.
In May 2009, he founded RB Leipzig who are now one of the powerhouses of Bundesliga football.
4. Juventus – Andrea Agnelli – £15.7bn
Andrea is the son of former Juve chairman Umberto whose family has a rich history in the club.
The Agnelli family made their fortune in the car industry having founded Fiat in 1899.
In May 2010, Andrea was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Juventus by his first cousin to become the fourth family member to run the club.
His appointment came at a time when the club was coming through the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal before overseeing the transition to the new stadium.
Juventus won nine Serie A titles in a row prior losing their crown to Inter Milan last season – but haven’t lifted the Champions League since 1996.
5. Chelsea – Roman Abramovich – £9.6bn
Chelsea’s Russian owner arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2003, transforming the West London club into a consistent driving force of the Premier League – and the transfer market.
Abramovich made his fortune in the 1990s, initially trading in things including timber, food products and even plastic ducks – but his biggest business came in petrochemicals and oil trading.
The 54-year-old was able to exploit a changing Russian economy in the 1990s in order to acquire his fortune, gaining a controlling stake in Sibneft in 1995 – one of the country’s largest oil companies.
6. LA Galaxy – Philip Anschutz – £8.1bn
The 81-year-old billionaire purchased his father’s oil drilling company in 1961 before venturing into sports.
He is one of the founders of the MLS and owned a whole range of clubs including the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United.
Anschutz later sold all his stakes in his other clubs and is widely regarded as the reason the MLS is still going after hitting financial trouble.
LA Galaxy remain one of the most prominent clubs in America and became renowned around the world when they landed David Beckham in 2007.
They have also boasted the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Javier Hernandez on their roster.
7. Arsenal – Stan Kroenke – £6.8bn
The Gunners are just one of a global network of sports teams owned by American Stan Kroenke, including the LA Rams, Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rapids.
The 74-year-old married Ann Walton, an heiress of the US supermarket Walmart, in 1974 – and nine years later founded a real estate development group.
The Kroenke Group specialise in shopping centres and apartment buildings – with many situated near existing Walmart locations.
Kroenke first bought shares in the North Londoners in 2008, before increasing his stake to around 62 per cent in 2011.
8. PSG – Nasser Al-Khelaifi – £6.5bn
Al-Khelaifi was an extremely talented tennis player as a youngster having appeared in two ATP Tour events.
A career in tennis brought Al-Khelaifi close to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim.
Tamin, the head of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, has entrusted his friend of 30 years with several senior jobs through the years in his companies.
In 2008, he was appointed president of the Qatar Tennis Federation.
Three years later, Al-Khelaifi became chairman of Qatar Sports Investments, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority.
Said to be worth around £338 billion, it was designed to diversify the country’s assets away from oil wealth.
The group bought French champions PSG in 2011, and Al-Khelaifi was made chairman of the board and CEO.
9. Inter Milan – Zhang Jindong – £6.2bn
The Chinese billionaire is the founder and major stakeholder in retailer Suning – one of the largest in Asia.
Jindong, 58, purchased a majority stake in the Italian giants through his own private holding company, in June 2016.
But they have so far failed to knock rivals Juventus off their perch although have started investing heavily in the squad.
They appointed Antonio Conte last year while also striking deals for Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.
And they finally ended their 11-year wait for a Serie A title in 2020-21 – before hitting financial trouble and selling star players Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.
10. Wolves – Guo Guangchang – £5.2bn
Guangchang, from the Eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, has been chairman of the Fosun Group since 1994.
The conglomerate are based in Shanghai and Hong Kong – and initially worked in market research.
After expanding into the healthcare and real estate industries, Fosun became one of the biggest investment firms in the world.
They bought Wolves from previous owner Steve Morgan in 2016 for around £45million – quickly transforming them from Championship mediocrity to European competition.