• Rahul Mahesh

A NEW REIGN AT NEWCASTLE UNITED

The dour 14-year Mike Ashley era at Newcastle United has now come to an end. The takeover by the Saudi consortium means that the Magpies have essentially established itself as a team of intent and endless options.




WHO IS THE CONSORTIUM?


Newcastle United (NUFC) was bought for $408 million by a consortium led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) sovereign wealth of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media. The deal was brokered by financier Amanda Staveley who, along with the Reuben Brothers, shall hold 10% stake at the club. PIF is headed by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman, a major factor that led to the fallout of the deal back in 2020. Yasir Al-Rumayyan has been named the non-executive chairman for the club as an assurance of distancing itself directly from Prince Salman. The assurances placed by PIF and the consortium has led to the confirmation that this deal stands valid and successful. This essentially means that evaluated asset of the Crown Prince which amounts to almost $430 billion dollars will be at the disposal of PIF and its consortium for the dealings of the club.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE MAGPIES?




Amanda Staveley called this a “long term investment” which means that the chances are the success-hungry Magpies shall be vying for a chance at major trophies in the near future. The club has been running without trophies, now at the bottom rung of the League. The last taste of success and joy coming with the signing of Alan Shearer in the 90s.




Mike Ashley has largely been a sour touch to the club with constant ill-advised decision making and poor executive management. A constant target of mockery and disregard among the fans who are more than joyous at this point by the takeover. This opens a plethora of possibilities that may well define the shape of the league which has now become a gold mine of wealth.



TIMES ARE A CHANGING

The takeover has clearly been welcomed with open arms and Newcastle hero Alan Shearer himself tweeted about his unending excitement for the future of the Magpies. The manager Steve Bruce shall surely have shaky legs to his chair as the future sees a lot of changes happening within the club. With the January transfer season in the corner, this could not have been a better time for the change in ownership. One can expect massive signings over the years and sky is the limit when it comes to expendable money in their coffers. These are exciting times for the Magpies and deservedly so. Fresh front office means fresh legs, couple that with truck load of money and you have a recipe for endless possibilities.


THE RESOUNDING OPPOSITION


From the perspective of the supporters of Newcastle, this is a boon. But the overall reaction from people around the world has been skeptical due to the human rights violations alleged upon the Crown Prince and his Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International and other human rights organisations have long been dismissive of the idea of Saudi Arabia investing in the Premier League side. The consortium has been clear of its separation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and maintains as an individual group of capital players. The prospect of their claims seem unfounded due to PIF’s direct connection with the Kingdom’s coffers, many are still doubtful of its true independence. For all said and done the fans and the game has taken this as a move that is inevitable and therefore staved off from any further discredit.




With the amount of money coming in with PIF, the Premier League has found itself in a unique position of avaricious power. The domination of Middle Eastern money in the Premier League has surely raised some eyebrows especially with the Super League fiasco that just came to pass. This takeover in many ways could lead to another standoff in the future that may see the true realisation of the Super League as it arrogantly raises its head yet again.


For the meantime, it is all flowers and rainbow at St.James Park. A new regime dawns upon Newcastle United and this may well be the crowning glory “the Toon” has been waiting for.



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