Saudi-led consortium Completes Newcastle Takeover; End Mike Ashley's 14-year ownership

Saudi-led consortium has officially completed £300m takeover of Newcastle United, bringing to end Mike Ashley's 14-year ownership of the club.

The Premier League confirmed the takeover in a statement on Thursday, saying it had received "legally binding assurances" that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United.

The investment group is led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and also comprises of PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.

Newcastle's new owners are expected to replace Steve Bruce as head coach, but no decision has yet been made on when this might happen.

The consortium does not want to make any knee-jerk decisions, but it is understood one of the priorities is deciding who will take over in the dugout at St James' Park moving forward.

The new names at Newcastle
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, will serve as non-executive chairman of Newcastle United. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board, while Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the club, representing RB Sports & Media.

Al-Rumayyan said: "We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football.

"We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them."

Staveley added: "This is a long-term investment. We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.

"We intend 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.

"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."

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."

Newcastle fans congregated outside St James Park when the takeover was confirmed

Why has takeover got green light now?
The Saudi-led consortium previously withdrew from the deal in July 2020 after the Premier League identified the Saudi state as a director with control over the club, which would have made it subject to the league's owners' and directors' test as part of the takeover process.

However, the Saudi state removed a significant barrier to the takeover when it resolved its issues with beIN Sports over the illegal streaming of Premier League football on Wednesday.

The Qatari network beIN has been unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the last four-and-a-half years as part of a diplomatic dispute, but the ban is now set to come to an end.

Former Newcastle winger Peter Lovenkrands is excited about the future at St James' Park - but has warned fans it will take time for the changes they want to take place following the Saudi-led Public Investment Fund's takeover
The station had been opposed to the Newcastle takeover, saying the ban and piracy of its content was damaging sports rights holders.

Before the completed deal was announced, meanwhile, Amnesty International drew attention to Saudi Arabia's record on human rights and called on the Premier League to look again at its criteria for approving takeovers.

"Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we've urged the Premier League to change their owners' and directors' test to address human rights issues," Amnesty UK chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said earlier on Thursday.

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