A Saudi Arabian-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle United has been completed. The Premier League has approved the takeover after receiving “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club.
Instead the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which will provide 80% of funds for the deal, is seen as separate to the state. This is despite the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being listed as chair of PIF.
The sale went through after the deal passed the Premier League owners’ and directors’ test. The takeover brings to an end Mike Ashley’s 14-year spell as Newcastle United owner. Fans gathered outside Newcastle’s St James’ Park stadium on Thursday to celebrate the takeover being approved. PIF have assets of £250bn, making Newcastle one of the richest clubs in the world.
Financier Amanda Staveley, who fronted the consortium, said the new owners are making a “long-term investment” to ensure Newcastle are “regularly competing for major trophies”.
Newcastle's last major domestic trophy was the 1955 FA Cup.