The three-party consortium includes the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), venture capital and private equity firm PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
There has been much controversy about PIF’s involvement in the takeover, but the consortium was able to clearly demonstrate successfully that Saudi Arabia would not have control over the club and could therefore pass the Premier League owners and directors test.
“Following the completion of the Test by the owners and directors of the Premier League, the club has been sold to the Consortium with immediate effect,” a Premier League statement said.
It added: “All sides have agreed that the settlement is necessary to end the prolonged uncertainty for fans over the ownership of the club. The Premier League has now received a legally binding assurance that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Newcastle United. Football will not control the club.”
PIF is a sovereign wealth fund headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
long term investment
Newcastle, one of the major teams in the Premier League in the years since the league’s inception, are currently ranked second from the bottom.
In light of the acquisition, Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to change the trial of its owners and directors to “address human rights issues”.
Amnesty International’s chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh, said: “Instead of allowing people implicated in serious human rights violations to run in English football, we have urged the Premier League to change the trial of its owners and directors of human rights. Address the issues.”
The Premier League did not immediately respond to Granthshala’s request for comment about Amnesty’s criticism of the owners and directors’ trial.
In a press release, PCP Capital Partners CEO Amanda Stavley said: “This is a long-term investment. We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.
“We want to establish a united philosophy across the club, establish a clear objective, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to great achievements over the long term.”
PIF Governor Yasser Al-Rumayyan said: “We are extremely proud to be the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most renowned clubs in English football. We thank Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years And we are excited to be working with him.”
An obstacle to the Newcastle takeover last year was a feud between Qatari-based media giant beIN Media Group, which owns exclusive rights to the Premier League in the Middle East and North Africa, and Saudi Arabia.
But according to a source in the Qatari broadcaster, Saudi Arabia will soon lift the ban on beIN Sports.
“BIN has been informed by Saudi Arabia (KSA) that steps have been taken to lift the ban after four and a half years,” a source in beIN Sports told Granthshala.
“This is an important reason, because then the Premier League can be seen in Saudi Arabia, which now owns the Premier League club.”
Granthshala has reached out to Saudi Arabia for comment on lifting the ban.
Granthshala’s Jeena Saifi and Hamdi Alakhshali contributed reporting.
Credit : www.cnn.com