The takeover of Newcastle United finally looks set to go ahead, as multiple reports state that a Saudi Arabian-led consortium has agreed a $407 million deal to buy the Premier League club.
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This comes after the same consortium pulled out of the deal in July 2020, but the deal is now back on and expected to be completed soon.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will have a majority 80 percent stake in Newcastle.
Businesswoman Amanda Staveley has led the group from the start (their original interest dates back to 2017) and local billionaire businessmen, the Reuben brothers, are also part of the consortium and will also be on the board of directors alongside Staveley to oversee day-to-day operations.
Following an 18-month wait to complete the deal, it looks like the 14-year reign of current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is over at St James’ Park.
Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports have the latest on the takeover at Newcastle:
Latest Premier League news
“All parties are hopeful an announcement can be made today [Thursday] confirming the takeover of Newcastle United. Sky Sports News has been told the Saudi-led consortium, the Premier League and Newcastle are working hard to get the deal completed and announced as soon as possible.
“There was hope and speculation it was going to be announced on Wednesday night but certain details still needed to be agreed.”
“There is no guarantee it will be announced on Thursday but the parties are hopeful and working around the clock to get it finalised. There is now hope the 18-month saga surrounding Newcastle’s ownership is close to being over.”
What has changed?
Here is more background information from our partners Sky Sports, as this deal has moved very quickly over the last 24 hours:
“The Saudi-led consortium previously withdrew from the deal in July 2020 after the Premier League identified the Saudi stake as a director with control over the club, which would have made it subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ test as part of the takeover process.
“However, the Saudi state removed a significant barrier to the takeover when it resolved its issues with beIN Sports over the illegal streaming of Premier League football on Wednesday. The Qatari network beIN has been unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the last four-and-a-half years as part of a diplomatic dispute, but the ban is now set to come to an end. The station had been opposed to the Newcastle takeover, saying the ban and piracy of its content was damaging sports rights holders.”
What can we expect?
Per multiple reports, PIF will invest significant sums of money into Newcastle and will focus on renovating the stadium, training ground and building up the academy.
They also plan to spend plenty of money on new players, but the noises coming out of those close to St James’ Park suggest it will be done in a gradual process rather than making a huge splash on big-name players straight away.
That said, it is expected that money will be available to spend in the January transfer window after a frugal summer has seen Steve Bruce’s weakened squad struggle early in the season and they sit 19th in the Premier League table and have yet to win any of their opening seven games.
Reports: $400 million Newcastle United takeover set to be completed originally appeared on NBCSports.com