Newcastle are set to have the wealthiest owners in world football once the £300million Saudi takeover is signed off.
The purchase of the club by the Saudi-led consortium is expected to be announced imminently after the Gulf state settled its piracy dispute with Premier League broadcast partner beIN Sports and gave assurances over who will control the club.
It will bring an end to Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership of the Magpies, after much protest over the Sports Direct billionaire’s time heading the club.
After the deal is completed, Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is expected to own 80 per cent of the club, with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers evenly splitting the remaining 20 per cent.
The original deal, which was abandoned in the summer of 2020 due to the Premier League’s objections, would have seen Newcastle chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and governed by Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, is reportedly still being lined up as the club’s non-executive chairman. Bin Salman’s role is surely removed, however, given the Premier League have now received assurances that the state will not be directly involved in the running of the club, and sources say this will see the deal given the green light.
The Toon will be by some way the wealthiest team in world football, with the Saudi PIF boasting assets worth a staggering £320billion, with stakes in companies ranging from SoftBank to Boeing, Facebook and Uber.
This wealth is by some way larger than that of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, who had originally been the world’s richest football club owner at £23.3bn.
Mansour is the deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and comes from the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
But once the Newcastle take over is announced, the Magpies’ owners will be worth 10 times more than City’s.
Paris Saint-Germain are the only club who can compare with Newcastle under their new ownership. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi’s own wealth is reported to be around £6.5bn, but he is just the front man for owners Qatar Sport Investments, an offshoot of Qatar’s Investment Authority – which is the equivalent of the Saudi PIF.
Qatar’s natrional wealth fund holds assets valued around £220bn, including London’s iconic The Shard building and luxury retailer Harrods, plus stakes in companies such as Volkswagen and Barclays.
Yet Newcastle’s new owners are still worth vastly more than PSG’s incredibly rich owners.
A buy-out was abandoned initially last year when the consortium — led by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and including Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers — were unable to prove separation between themselves and the Saudi state.
The Premier League have now received assurances that the state will not be directly involved in the running of the club and sources say this will see the deal given the green light.
After updates surrounding the takeover, Newcastle fans rushed to social media to express their joy at the news as they now can dream of lucrative signings to help push the club forward.
‘Bring back the entertainers. Bring back European nights. BRING BACK MY NEWCASTLE UNITED. #nufc #nufctakeover,’ one excited fan wrote.
Another supporter wrote: ‘I’m ready for it all. This takeover feels like the love of your life keep walking out, and coming back promising to change. Yessssssss.’ – dailymail.co.uk