Soccer

The Saudi-led £300 million deal of Newcastle United to be announced today

Newcastle United's English owner Mike Ashley gestures before the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton on September 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
GLYN KIRK / Stringer

A Saudi Arabian-led consortium is on the verge of taking a controlling stake in Newcastle United. A £300 million deal could be announced today, with all parties working around the clock to close the deal. The new owners would like to have the keys to St. James’s Park before the next home game on October 17th.

The takeover will see Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund take a controlling 80% stake in Newcastle United. The deal appeared to be off when the consortium pulled out back in July 2020. With the Premier League identifying the Saudi stake as a director with complete club control. Which means it would be subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ tests.

However, the Saudi state removed a crucial barrier to the deal on Wednesday. By resolving its problems with beIN Sports over illegally streaming Premier League football. The Qatar-based network has not broadcast in Saudi Arabia for four and a half years due to a diplomatic dispute. BeIN was opposed to the deal, but the ban will now end.

The Mike Ashley era at Newcastle United coming to an end

While there has been a lot of opposition to the deal outside of Newcastle, fans see the takeover as a chance to dream again after 14 miserable years watching Newcastle United struggle under Mike Ashley’s ownership.

When Mike Ashley completed his takeover of Newcastle United back in 2007, he made a rather bold statement and looking back. It appears even worse.

“I want to have fun and win some trophies.”

Mike Ashley

In reality, Mike Ashley was unable to achieve either of these things during his tenure. In fact, during his time at the helm, Ashley has seen the team suffer more relegations (2) than top-eight finishes in the Premier League. Under Ashley, the club transitioned from a top-six Premier League team to a survival club.

After the club’s relegation to the Championship in 2017, Ashley made it clear that staying relevant was all that mattered as he unofficially put the club up for sale. It seems the nightmare is over for Newcastle fans.

Newcastle United has not won a trophy in over 50 years, and they have not reached a final in more than 20 years. Yet, they still have one of the largest and most loyal fanbases in England. This takeover is a reward for the Newcastle fans, and it’s time to dream again.

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