October 24, 2021

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Newcastle confirms: The Saudi government investment fund buys the club

Newcastle confirms: The Saudi government investment fund buys the club

Approximately Two years after a Saudi-led consortium announced its desire to buy English football club Newcastle UnitedThe billion deal will be completed on Thursday. The guard writes.

At the end of January last year, news came that a group of investors, led by the Saudi state investment fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), was ready to put 300 million pounds (about 3.5 billion crowns) on the table for purchase. The traditional club from current owner Mike Ashley.

However, the acquisition did not take place on the ground, in part due to a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar-based national broadcaster ‘Bain’. Bein is the largest television partner in English football outside of Europe, and those who have paid billions to secure the rights of the Premier League in the Middle East.

However, Bein has not been able to operate in Saudi Arabia since 2017, and He also accused the kingdom of having links to TV piracy. Now, however, the parties are ready to put the conflict behind them, paving the way for the now-completed takeover.

In a public statement, the Premier League wrote that the league had received “legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not take control of Newcastle United Football Club”.

More challenges

The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar dates back to 2017. In the summer of that year, several countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar due to the latter’s alleged links to terrorism. .

The ban meant that Bein, the Qatari broadcaster, was not allowed to work in Saudi Arabia. It was only in January of this year that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was at the forefront of rebuilding relations between the two countries. As a result, on Wednesday of this week, Saudi Arabia opened the way for Bein to operate in the country.

This increased the likelihood of acquisition. According to the club’s change of ownership rules, the Premier League, the entity that owns and operates the league of the same name, must approve potential new owners. New owners may be refused to take over the management of the club if they do not pass the “League Owner and Manager Test”.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pictured in 2019.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pictured in 2019 (Photo: Hamad bin Mohammed/Reuters/NTB)

The test allows the Premier League to set foot in the event if the acquiring party has committed something that would be considered a crime in the UK, although it is not necessarily prohibited in the buyer’s home country. Saudi Arabia, for example, was Accused of links with the Arabic pirate channel beoutQ, which illegally broadcasts English Premier League matchesOn Wednesday, however, he said it would be “off the air” as part of an agreement between the two.

However, the alleged links to the pirated broadcaster was just one complaint. The other reason behind the agreement’s backtracking last year was also that the Premier League wanted assurances that the Public Investment Fund would not be involved in day-to-day operations, as it effectively meant that the Saudi state was in control of the club.

The Guardian wrote that these concerns should now have been addressed.

At the same time, Amnesty UK came out and warned about the suspicious attitudes of Saudi Arabia towards human rights, urging the Premier League to take this into account.

Foreign Billionaires

The Saudi government investment fund is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and is estimated to be worth about $500 billion.

The fund invests in several billion companies around the world, including Live Nation, airline Boeing, Facebook, Disney and Uber.

Although the Public Investment Fund is responsible for the majority of the capital, it was British financier Amanda Staveley who led the negotiations. Billionaire brothers David and Simon Rubin are also part of the consortium.

If the takeover takes place, it means that another English club will be swallowed up by foreign billionaires. As mentioned, Manchester City was bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, and today the emirate, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, runs the club.

Manchester United is owned by the American Glazer family, while Chelsea is ruled by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Liverpool, on the other hand, is owned by the American group Fenway and in the London club Arsenal, the American Stan Kroenke is in charge.

According to Forbes, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been open to selling the club since 2017.

According to Forbes, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been open to selling the club since 2017 (Photo: IAN MACNICOL/AFP/NTB)

hateful owner

The Newcastle sale marks the end of Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership of the club from northern England.

Lack of money to buy players, a lack of trophies, and two relegations during the British period, made him one of the most hated club owners in England. He bought the club for 134 million pounds in 2007, and owns and operates the sports chain Sports Direct.

according to Forbes In May 2019, Newcastle had a net worth of £296 million.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and/or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link that leads directly to our pages. All or part of the Content may not be copied or otherwise used with written permission or as permitted by law. For additional terms look here.