Will Newcastle follow Man City and PSG’s footprints?
The Premier League have confirmed the sale of Newcastle United to a Saudi Arabian-led consortium in an event that will see Newcastle rank among the richest club in the world.
In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the English football body stated that they had settled the dispute over the takeover of the club, following the completion of the league’s own “Owners and Directors Test”.
The move now means that 80% of the club and St James Holdings Limited will come under the control of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
The club will not be under the control of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to the Premier League.
“The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover,” read a statement from the league. “All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.”
There was naturally a concern raised over the potential takeover for a variety of reasons, mainly in the media due to Saudia Arabia’s human rights record.
The major breakthrough in talks came after a previous disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was settled over the Premier League.
Qatar spends hundreds of millions on television rights for the English top-flight, while Saudi Arabia has recently been one of the main offending countries in the world for distributing illegal streams of matches.
There are definite parallels with the ownership of the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Who Owns Man City and PSG?
The spending power that Man City and PSG’s ownership from the UAE and Qatar has provided them has transformed them into two of Europe’s leading clubs over the course of a decade.
While no club has spent more in recent times than Man City, PSG have made the two biggest signings in football history, having captured Neymar from Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe from Monaco in the summer of 2017.
The Brazilian’s $256.7m equivalent to €222 million in other currency transfer fee is a world record and one that looks likely to stand for quite some time.
Mbappe, meanwhile, was signed for $185m equivalent to €160m, potentially rising to $208m
While Qatar’s ownership of PSG is relatively straightforward, Man City are simply the figurehead club of the City Football Group.
Will Newcastle be like City and PSG?
Though Newcastle may eventually become a spending juggernaut, the new Saudi owners will not spent hundreds of millions on transfers in the short-term, as the takeover is seen as a long-term project.
As outlined by Sky Sports journalist Keith Downie, the immediate target will be to stay in the Premier League, which will mean some spending in January, and then to focus on youth development and training ground improvements as well as other infrastructure.
“They are very wealthy – it is the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia having an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle. It is big money and they have got a lot of money to spend,” Downie writes.
“They are obviously going to be guided by Financial Fair Play. The information we have been told all along since they came to the table two or three years ago was that they were going to do this gradually.
According to UK based media company Newcastle will not over throw finances at a go but gradually in months and years to come.
Newcastle also will look to get their Stadium and sporting at the Club level together from the infrastructure, the stadium, the academy – all of these need investment and it is thought that it will be one their key priorities.
With Newcastle now under new owner and probably with days we will continue to see new faces most likely one duty that is at hand is to revive their lost glory.
Newcastle have not been English Champions since 1927 and have not won any domestic silverware since 1955 but most importantly it will be getting them this season to participate at the English top flight as without that the takeover would’ve been off. They need Newcastle in the Premier League.
As part of the agreement with Newcastle, PIF will take an 80%stake, with private equity firm Reuben brothers paying for a 10% stake and British businesswoman Amanda Staveley receiving 10% for her role in brokering the deal.
Staveley said of the deal; This is a long term investment. we are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United. We intend to instill a united philosophy across the club establish a new purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.