Newcastle’s proposed new owners appear to have been handed a huge boost in their takeover bid with the Premier League allegedly agreeing to their acquisition of the club.
Amanda Staveley is at the head of the proposed £300million takeover, with backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) which is fronted by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The proposed takeover has been greeted by Newcastle fans, as not only do they want to see the back of incumbent owner Mike Ashley, but they are also aware the Magpies could soon have the richest owners in the entire Premier League.
The PIF are understood to have assets totalling more than £260bn, and to put that wealth into perspective, Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour currently tops the Premier League rich list with a net worth of £23.3bn – a staggering £236.7bn LESS than the PIF.
Nonetheless, there has been strong opposition to the proposed takeover and doubts have been raised over the Premier League approving the deal.
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Questions of ‘sportswashing’ and human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia have led to criticism of the Saudi regime, while the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Hatice Cengiz, has written to the Premier League saying the crown prince should not be able to buy Newcastle.
But it appears this final hurdle has been successfully crossed, with Saudi state news channel Al Ekhbariya claiming the Premier League has approved the takeover.
A Twitter post from the news channel, which is owned by the government and run by the Ministry of Media, read: “The English Premier League gives the green light to complete the Saudi acquisition.”
The proposed takeover has been branded a ‘game-changer’ for Newcastle with the Magpies backed to shoot up the Premier League table – as long as the right decisions are made.
“This is a game-changer,” said former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy on talkSPORT.
“Steve Bruce has done a very, very good job, but they are moving to the next level. They won’t stick with some of the players they’ve got in their squad.
“Everyone knows that they are now looking to upgrade, and they are going to upgrade everything; on the pitch, in the dugout, their scouting network… everything.
“This guy that is rocking up at Newcastle isn’t there to make money – he’s not there like Mike Ashley – they will go in there are throw money at this, and they won’t really mind how much they throw at it.
“But it is how you spend that money.
“You’ve got to get the right people in doing the right jobs, and that isn’t always easy.”