Newcastle United Football Club announced on the 7th October 2021 that they had been purchased by a joint consortium, comprising of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media. The 100% purchase of the club brings an end to the fourteen-year tenure of former owner Mike Ashley. With an 80% stake, PIF possesses reported assets of over £250 billion, making Newcastle the richest football club in the world.
While the overwhelming majority of Newcastle supporters approve the takeover, (fans celebrated the news outside St. James’ Park) questions still remain over the nature of the takeover and the direction the club will take to ensure success on and off the pitch.
The takeover had been in the works since April last year, so the swift reversal from the PIF, who backed out of the deal that July after the takeover failed the Premier League Owners and Directors Test, came as a surprise to many.
There are however points of tension that hinder the seemingly widely-supported deal. Firstly, the nature of how separate PIF was from the Saudi Arabian state was questioned due to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being listed as chair of PIF.