Newcastle United: Mike Ashley agrees £300m deal to sell to Saudi Arabia-backed consortium

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has agreed in principle a £300 million deal to sell the club to a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium.

Ashley’s 13-year ownership of the Premier League is close to an end, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund - led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - taking an 80 percent stage, according to the Telegraph.

Amanda Staveley will head the new ownership group. Her PCP Capital Partners will take a 10 per cent shareholding, with the Reuben Brothers - one of Britain’s wealthiest families, with a property portfolio worth £18 billion - buying the remaining 10 per cent.

The deal is now awaiting Premier League approval and could be finalised in a month.

It’s exciting news for Newcastle supporters who have become disillusioned under Ashley.

The Magpies have suffered two relegations during Ashley’s reign and he’s also failed to back the club in the transfer window.

Ashley had been hoping to sell Newcastle for £340m but renovations have taken place in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s now ready to accept £300m.

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The deal now hinges on Premier League approval. Checks are being carried out on the buyers, as well as their nominees as Newcastle directors.

Staveley, Jamie Reuben - the son of David Reuben, who runs Reuben Brothers with his brother, Simon - and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of PIF, are expected to be the club’s directors, along with two other representatives.

The Saudis involvement is very interesting. They have been considering the best way to break into football and have previously examined purchasing other clubs before settling on Newcastle.

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According to Business Insider, the Saudi royal family’s wealth is estimated at up to $1.4 trillion.

Prince Mohammed is known for his lavish spending, purchasing a $500m yacht, a $300m French chateau and a $450m Leonardo da Vinci painting.

If Newcastle’s spending is just as extravagant, they could soon challenge for trophies again.

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