The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has managed to takeover Newcastle United football club in a £300m deal. Here we discuss why fans are rejoicing over the contentious move.
The deal had been delayed by almost 18 months, report Sky News. That was due to a mix of disputes between beIN Sports and the Saudis over illegal streaming, as well as concerns over human rights violations in the gulf country.
WE HAVE GOT OUR NEWCASTLE UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB BACK!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉pic.twitter.com/sjIjCGHi1C
— ToonArmy (@toonarmy_com) October 7, 2021
Nonetheless, Newcastle fans have been hoping for this takeover for many years. Here is why:
14 Years of Mike Ashley
The much-beloved club has been struggling to gain momentum, and its previous owner Mike Ashely was unpopular among fans ever since his takeover in 2007.
Ashely was criticized for never investing enough into the team, leaving fans hopeless for 14 years.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which now has an 80% stake in the club, has assets of £250bn, according to Sky News.
Fans hope that the club will the extra funding to sign a highly qualified manager and to recruit established talents to join the team lineup.
Premier League Hopes
Amanda Staveley, who now sits on the board as chief executive officer of PCP Capital Partners, told Sky Sports News that challenging for the Premier League title is “absolutely” part of the consortium’s long-term plan.
Asked about the future of Newcastle’s manager Steve Bruce, Ms Staveley continued: “We’re very supportive of Steve, we’ve spoken to him. We’re not going to speak about managers or what big signings we can make at the moment.”
The board member also said that PIF is independent from the gulf nation and Saudi Arabia has no control over the club.