A Saudi-Arabian led consortium have completed a £300m takeover of Newcastle United which brings an end to Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership.
The £300m takeover has been completed with Premier League approval after assurances was provided that illegal streaming websites within Saudi Arabia would be shut down, with BeIN Sports also seeing a four-year ban on legal broadcasts lifted.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan – Governor of Public Investment Fund (PIF) will take the position of Non-Executive Chairman with Amanda Staveley also sitting on the board, which will be led by Jamie Reuben who takes over as Club Director, representing RB Sport & Media.
Speaking on his appointment as Director, Reuben said: “We look forward to a great future for Newcastle United. Newcastle is a fantastic city, which is why our family has been investing heavily in the area for many years. To become part of this great Club and its amazing fans is a privilege.
“We will build a true community Club, based upon our family’s knowledge of the city and in line with our plans that have been worked on closely with Newcastle City Council to deliver long-term sustainable growth for the area.”
Al-Rumayyan meanwhile spoke of feeling “extremely proud to become part of the new ownership of Newcastle United and paid tribute to club supporters, saying: “We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them.”
Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners, Staveley added that this deal will mark “a long-term investment” whilst vowing “to instill a united philosophy across the Club, establish a clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.”
Staveley also addressed fans who want to see the club fighting for success again, saying: “Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe.”
Confirmation of the deal comes after the consortium completed the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, with the league confirming that the takeover was approved ‘with immediate effect.’
Premier League bosses also released a statement stating that legal issues between the league, Newcastle United and St James Holdings Limited have been ‘settled’ concerning ‘the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.’
The statement went on to read: ‘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.’
All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.’
This announcement also sees Mike Ashley relinquish ownership of the club after a 14-year spell since buying the Magpies in June 2007, a run in which Newcastle suffered two relegations from Premier League and reached quarter-finals of 2012-13 Europa League.
There were also 13 changes of manager on permanent and caretaker basis with Alan Pardew lasting the longest, after managing 185 matches in all competitions between December 2010 – December 2014.
Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League following a 2-1 defeat at Wolves last weekend, with their first match under new ownership set to be at home against Tottenham Hotspur live on Sky Sports on Sunday 17 October (4:30pm BST).
Steve Bruce’s Future Hangs In Balance
As with any takeover of any club, a change of manager is widely expected which means that Steve Bruce’s future is now hanging in the balance, especially with the club sat in the Premier League relegation zone at present.
Ex Bournemouth boss, Eddie Howe is currently the bookies favourites to replace Bruce with Antonio Conte, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard amongst the hotly-rated contenders for the seat
Current Everton manager, Rafa Benitez is also featured amongst the bookies’ favourites, having spent three years in charge where he guided the club to promotion in 2016-17 season after suffering relegation the previous season.
It however is uncertain at present whether the new ownership could opt to give Bruce a chance complete with full backing in January’s transfer window, or look to implement their vision with an immediate change of manager in coming days.