Speculation surrounding a potential Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund takeover of Newcastle United began to ramp up in April of 2020.
It was then reported shortly after that a £300m deal was done, with only Premier League approval missing.
However, the weeks and months that followed saw very little progress made, with a number of issues, such as the Saudis’ links to piracy broadcasting company BeoutQ, brought to light.
As a result, at the end of July 2020, the SAPIF and its partners announced that they had come to the decision to pull out of the Newcastle takeover.
After Saudi Arabia lifted its four-year ban on beIN Sports, though, fresh hope was breathed into the operation.
And, on Thursday October 7th, the news Newcastle fans were all waiting for arrived, as it was confirmed that the SAPIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media had ‘completed the acquisition of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited from St. James Holdings Limited’.
Levy & Premier League clubs push back on Newcastle takeover
On the back of this development, it has been revealed that Newcastle’s new owners boast wealth worth over 10 times that of Manchester City’s current owners:
Given the wealth of their new owners, it is expected that Newcastle will eventually become a Premier League powerhouse in a similar way to Manchester City.
However, Premier League sides, in particular Tottenham, are seemingly pushing back.
The Daily Mail report that Newcastle’s takeover has been met with fierce opposition from their top-flight rivals, with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said to be the ‘chief agitator’ in lobbying the Premier League to deny the SAPIF entry to the top flight.
It is added that Levy has tried to stop the consortium bringing in a lucrative sponsor.
This would, of course, be a huge blow for Newcastle and their ability to spend huge sums inside the boundaries of Financial Fair Play.
Manchester City faced a similar issue when they were first taken over. A fairly small club with no big-money players available to sell, it was essentially impossible for City to spend huge sums and still meet FFP.
To get around this, Man City were accused of using companies owned by their state-funded group to sponsor the club’s shirts and stadium which vastly inflated their income, allowing the owners to pump money into the club and it conform with FFP rules.
There has already been speculation by some that a similar tactic will be employed by Newcastle:
And though Levy is said to have tried to stop this, the Mail report that Levy has been told it is a futile pursuit.