The £300m Saudi takeover of Newcastle has been confirmed – Mike Ashley is gone and Steve Bruce is facing the axe.
The deal has been sealed by the Premier League, ending Ashley’s 14-year rule and turning the Magpies into the world’s richest club.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will hold 80 percent, with billionaire Ruben brothers and financier Amanda Stavley taking 10-10 percent.
Unpopular manager Steve Bruce is now ready to ax with new owners wanting a fresh start as Newcastle sit 19th on the table.
In an instant, Toon now has the wealthiest owner of world football – a staggering £320 billion – dwarfing the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
With the piracy issue finally resolved, the Premier League signed a mega deal on Wednesday night.
And it brings to an end a nearly two-year saga that began last January when a £300m deal was struck with Ashley.
The Premier League said in a statement: “The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James’s Holdings Ltd have today settled a dispute over the acquisition of the club by a consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
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“Following the completion of the Premier League Owners and Directors Test, the club has been sold to the association with immediate effect.
“The Premier League has now received a legally binding assurance that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.
All parties are delighted to have completed this process that has given certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”
Newcastle tweeted: “An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund, which also includes PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, has completed the 100% acquisition of Newcastle United Ltd and Newcastle United Football Club Ltd from St James Holdings Ltd. have taken. ”
Amanda Staveley, CEO of PCP Capital Partners, said: “This is a long-term investment.
“We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.
“We intend 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.
“Our ambition is to engage with the fans – to build a consistently successful team that regularly competes for major trophies and generates pride around the world.”
All parties have agreed that a settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans regarding the ownership of the club.
Premier League statement
Newcastle fans were singing, dancing and drinking outside St James’s Park when the deal was confirmed on Thursday evening.
Club legend Alan Shearer told supporters they could “dare to hope again” as they celebrated wildly.
And the club’s official account tweeted: “Newcastle United.”
Buyers withdrew last July after Prem failed to approve, with most of the Toon Sena fearing it had died in the water.
But when the Saudi government lifted the ban on Qatar broadcaster beIN Sports, the takeover was finally given the go-ahead to complete.
And now the attention will turn to Saudi Arabia’s ‘serious’ human rights record.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the chairman of the PIF and was implicated in sanctioning the 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Gary Lineker tweeted: “Football fans want their clubs to be successful, but at what cost? The dilemma facing NUFC supporters.”
While Amnesty International urged the Premier League to ‘overhaul its standards’ with regard to human rights.
The human rights organization said the deal was an attempt to “sportwash their sinister human rights record with the glamor of top-flight football”.
And CEO 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 to address human rights issues ..
The phrase “human rights” does not even come to the test of owners and directors, while English football reportedly adheres to FIFA standards.
“Like Formula One, elite boxing, golf or tennis, association with top-tier football is a very attractive means of rebranding a country or individual with a bad reputation.
“The Premier League needs to better understand the dynamics of sportswashing and tighten its ownership rules.”
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