Home TOP STORIES Saudi-backed consortium pulls out of bid to purchase Newcastle United

Saudi-backed consortium pulls out of bid to purchase Newcastle United

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) had been a part of a three-party deal fronted by PCP Capital Partners, a enterprise capital and personal fairness firm based and run by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley, and actual property agency Reuben Brothers, which wished to purchase the membership from English businessman Mike Ashley.

“With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club,” the consortium stated in a press release on Thursday.

“We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.

“Unfortunately, the extended course of underneath the present circumstances coupled with international uncertainty has rendered the potential funding now not commercially viable.”

The Premier League’s board had been assessing the bid for a number of months since it was first submitted in April.

Before a takeover goes through, any successful bid must pass English football’s Owners’ and Directors’ test, which evaluates the suitability of ownership groups.

The consortium added that the situation had been complicated by a lack of clarity resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“As usually happens with proposed investments in unsure intervals, time itself turned an enemy of the transaction, notably throughout this tough section marked by the various actual challenges dealing with us all from Covid-19,” the statement continued.

“We really feel nice compassion for the Newcastle United followers with whom we shared a fantastic dedication to assist Newcastle United harness its large potential and construct upon its spectacular and historic legacy whereas working intently with the area people.”

A Newcastle fan protests against current owner Mike Ashley.

The proposed takeover had acquired vocal opposition from human rights teams, amongst others.

Amnesty International had argued that Saudi Arabia’s interest in Newcastle was a form of “sportswashing” and “a PR instrument to distract from the nation’s abysmal human rights report,” whereas Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, stated the takeover would “stain” the Premier League.
Qatari-based media large beIN Media Group also voiced concerns over Saudi Arabia’s alleged function in illegally streaming soccer matches, writing to the Premier League in regards to the “direct function” Saudi Arabia has supposedly had in the “launch, promotion and operation” of a pirate streaming service.

But for many Newcastle fans, news of the proposed takeover was welcomed.

After 13 years under the ownership of Mike Ashley, the British businessman who runs retail brand Sports Direct, the feeling is that the club has been starved of investment for too long.

It possibly explains why a survey by the Newcastle United Supporters Trust in April found that 96.7% of the more than 3,397 fans questioned were in favor of the takeover.

Injections of cash from Middle East owners is nothing new for soccer; Manchester City has gained 4 Premier League titles having been purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, whereas Paris Saint-Germain has assembled among the finest squads in Europe underneath the possession of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Sports Investments.

Earlier this week the Kingdom of Bahrain purchased a 20% stake in French facet Paris FC, the latest reflection of the Middle East’s rising affect in European soccer.

For Newcastle, which completed 13th within the Premier League final season, the seek for new house owners rolls on.

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