PIF plot £768m move that could have severe implications for Newcastle United

UEFA rules prevent the same entity from owning two clubs competing in the same European competition
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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund are considering a sensational £768million deal to buy Serie A giants Roma, according to reports.

It has been over two years since PIF, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, bought an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle United. Since then, the Magpies have transformed from relegation certainties to top-flight hopefuls, with Toon fans enjoying a Champions League campaign this season.

PIF, governed by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Newcastle’s chairman, have bulldozed their way into the sporting arena in recent years. As well as the Magpies, the fund has bankrolled drastic changes in golf and boxing.

Other sporting ventures include Formula 1 and the WWE, with the World Cup also set to take place in Saudi for its 2034 edition. Many of football’s biggest stars have also joined the Saudi Pro League in the past 12 months, with the Gulf State investing heavily into sport as part of their Vision 2030 agenda.

A fresh report from Italian outlet LaRepublica has claimed they are keeping tabs on Roma - a deal that could have huge implications for Newcastle. The piece goes as far as to suggest that PIF are in talks with the club’s American owners and have £258million ready to fund a new stadium.

UEFA rules state “no individual or legal entity may have control or influence over more than one club participating in a UEFA club competition” - leading to a potential conundrum in years to come. Ahead of the current campaign, Brighton and Aston Villa were almost undone by the regulations.

Seagulls supremo Tony Bloom was forced to reduce his stake in Belgian outfit Union Saint-Gilloise while V Sports, the holding company that owns Villa and Portuguese side Vitoria, also needed restructuring. With PIF reportedly wanting to buy 100 per cent of Roma, it casts doubt over where this would leave Newcastle should both teams qualify for the same European competition.

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