The acquisition of Newcastle United from an investment group has been in the international news for a while. Who are the new owners? Will there be millionaire signs? Let´s make a review on the latest of the club.
The new owners:
The buyer group is led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which now owns the 80% of Newcastle. This organism is in charge of the funds of Saudi Arabia and is chaired by Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, who is the inheritor prince of the country. The market value of the PIF is estimated on 500.000M$.
Yasir Othman Al-Rumayyan is the PIF governor and new non-executive president of the club. On the other hand, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media own 10% of the property each. Amanda Staveley (PCP executive director) and Jamie Reuben (RB Sports) are the new directors of the entity.
However, the real visible faces of Newcastle are Staveley and his husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi. In fact, they are asset managers for the consortium and have the mission to direct Newcastle. As The Athletic points out, the key decisions will have to be supported by the saudis.
Goals and first steps:
Amanda Staveley made clear the ambition of the new property on an interview to Sky Sports: “We obviously want to see the team winning trophies, on top of both the Premier League and Europe, but winning trophies requieres patience and investment”.
“I had a great conversation with Jamal (Lascelles) as captain and we are delighted to strengthen the team. However, we have to work within the Financial Fair Play. Everyone is talking about this (signing top players), but what you really need is a team that works well and united”.
Kieran Maguire, professor of football finances at the University of Liverpool, has calculated that Newcastle will be able to invest more than 235M€ in June without having to worry about FFP. We must remind you that this rule only applies to signs and salaries, which means that the input on infrastructures has no limits.
Staveley has expressed that they are planning on investment a lot in all the areas of the club: St James’ Park, training ground, academy and women team. However, and based on her statement, 100M€ or higher signs will not happen right away.
Several media are posting rumors about possible players and coaches, but the truth is that not even the directors know for sure what the additions will be. They have barely started to work this week and Staveley pointed out that they first have to make a deep evaluation before making decisions.
The future of Newcastle and the moral aspect:
The first milestone in the history of Newcastle under the new property will be the sack of Steve Bruce. English media have announced that he will lose his job with a compensation of 10M€ before Sunday.
Regarding to philosophy and signs policy, the information and statements that are going around invite to think that the English identity will stay within the club. Both the academy and legends will have important roles: Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan, Paul Gascoigne and even Chris Waddle.
What about human rights? It is not unknown for anyone that Saudi Arabia has carried out and unjustifiable atrocities. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is one of the caes that shocks me the most for obvious reasons.
The initial excitement in the ‘Geordies’ is more related to the end of a 14 years nightmare and the hope of not only returning to their historical place, but also becoming a top team worldwide. However, I can guarantee that all the fans are perfectly aware of the dark side of the issue.
As a Newcastle fans, it is obvious that I would prefer to have integral owners, even though that might need less financial muscle. It is a shit to see how your club becomes into an image washer. The business of football advances through dirty paths and this is just one more episode.
I am not going to judge the ‘Geordies’ mass that lives in Newcastle and who will not take actions against the PIF. Maybe it is too much to ask them to worry about events that take place in Saudi Arabia after the suffering of 14 years. This is the world we live in.
Regarding to me, I will always inform of the facts as they are, both with the positive and negative aspects of it. In the end, I am a journalist. Make your own opinions.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Newcastle United.
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