Newcastle United takeover: Premier League approves Saudi-led takeover

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Mike Ashley’s tenure as Newcastle United owner looks like it’s coming to an end with a takeover deal by Saudi Arabia backed PCP Consortium expected to be completed soon

The Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle has been approved, the Premier League has announced.

The PCP Consortium will become the new owners of the club, taking over from the exiting Mike Ashley who has been looking for a buyer for some time.

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Controversy has surrounded the deal, which has been almost two years in the making, but it is set to make Newcastle United one of the richest clubs in the world.

The Premier League said it had settled legal disputes that had initially stalled the takeover process, and received “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi Arabian government will not effectively own the club.

For all the latest on the NUFC takeover, head over to our sister title and follow Liam Kennedy's coverage on Twitter at @newcastle_world and @LiamJKennedy23

Here’s everything you need to know about the takeover...

What has the Premier League said?

The Premier League statement read: “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 legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover.

“All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.

“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.

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“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”

What have Newcastle United said?

Newcastle also released a statement, confirming that Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will act as the club’s non-executive chairman, while Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have a seat on the board.

The statement added: “The Investment Group is comprised of long-term, patient investors who have every confidence in the future success of the Club.

“Today’s announcement is the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has allowed the Investment Group to arrive at a deal that benefits all stakeholders and will leave Newcastle United well-placed to pursue a clear, long-term strategy.”

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Who is buying Newcastle United and for how much?

The PCP Consortium which is made up of three separate entities are set to takeover at Newcastle United.

The offer is believed to be in the region of £300m and will see the Premier League side become one of the richest clubs in world football.

Who are the PCP Consortium?

The PCP Consortium is made up of three parties and is lead by business woman Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and Reuben brothers who were last year named as the second richest family in the UK.

However, 80% of the funding for the deal is being supplied by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia who had to prove they were a separate entity from the Saudi state in order for the deal to be approved.

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The deal was originally held up, but has now been resolved, after Saudi Arabia settled an alleged piracy dispute with Qatar based broadcaster beIN Sports, who own rights to show the Premier League in the Middle East.

Current Newcastle United owner Mike AshleyCurrent Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley
Current Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley | Getty Images

How long has Mike Ashley owned Newcastle United?

Mike Ashley took control of Newcastle United in June 2007.

After initially purchasing a 41.6% stake in the club at a cost of £55,342,223, UK takeover law meant he was obliged to make an offer to buy the remaining shares at the same or a greater price.

Former chairman Freddy Shepherd agreed to sell his 28% share to Ashley, which left the Sports Direct CEO free to take control of the club.

In July 2007, Ashley acquired 100% of the shareholdings, paying a total of around £134 million to buy the club.

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Why has the takeover of Newcastle United taken so long?

A deal had been agreed in April 2020 between Newcastle and the buyers but the Premier League intervened to prevent the takeover from happening.

The PIF needed to prove it was separate to the Saudi state and would therefore pass the league’s owners’ and directors’ test, which measures the suitability of owners at a club.

Alleged piracy and human rights abuses by Saudi Arabia have been the central points causing controversy.

What would the Newcastle United takeover mean to fans?

Liam Kennedy, Newcastle United writer for National World sister title NewcastleWorld, says the takeover is a “monumental moment” for supporters of the football club.

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He said: “This is a monumental moment in time for Newcastle United fans.

“They've collectively lived through the near 15 years of Mike Ashley, a loveless, hopeless marriage of convenience, punctuated with neglectful moments, tarnished by decay.

“Now, with new owners, there is hope. And this all Newcastle fans have yearned for.

“You will catch the 'smart' pundits trying to say they expect too much, or will want Pep Guardiola as manager etc, but this isn't about that.

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“This is about reclaimed back a bit of what is theirs. Being allowed to feel again. Not allowing another generation to be lost to the malaise. This is about trying to be better than what they are now, doing more than just existing as a spare part in the Premier League machine.”

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