The £300m takeover of Newcastle United has officially been completed, with a Saudi-led consortium ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year ownership of the club.
The Premier League confirmed the takeover in a statement on Thursday, saying it had received “legally binding assurances” that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United.
The investment group is led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and also comprises of PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
Newcastle’s new owners are expected to replace Steve Bruce as head coach, but no decision has yet been made on when this might happen.
The consortium does not want to make any knee-jerk decisions, but it is understood one of the priorities is deciding who will take over in the dugout at St James’ Park moving forward.
The Saudi-led consortium previously withdrew from the deal in July 2020 after the Premier League identified the Saudi state as a director with control over the club, which would have made it subject to the league’s owners’ and directors’ test as part of the takeover process.
However, the Saudi state removed a significant barrier to the takeover when it resolved its issues with beIN Sports over the illegal streaming of Premier League football on Wednesday.
The Qatari network beIN has been unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the last four-and-a-half years as part of a diplomatic dispute, but the ban is now set to come to an end.
The station had been opposed to the Newcastle takeover, saying the ban and piracy of its content was damaging sports rights holders.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, will serve as non-executive chairman of Newcastle United. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board, while Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the club, representing RB Sports & Media.
Al-Rumayyan said: “We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football.
“We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them.”
Staveley added: “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 clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.
“Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe.”