Newcastle United are on the verge of a £300 million takeover after owner Mike Ashley agreed to sell the club to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Funds, and fans can’t wait to see the back of the billionaire businessman who has been in charge since 2007.
The English Premier League is currently carrying out its checks under its owners and directors test after a 31-page document filed at Companies House confirmed that the deal is progressing.
It’s the final step before a takeover can go through, and The Athletic’s David Ornstein has shared his major concerns about it.
“It is looking very likely this time,” The former BBC journalist said during a Q&A session on The Athletic.
“Keen to see how the owners and directors test goes, with concerns about Saudi human rights record and also their (major) issue with the Premier League on piracy.”
The PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia and is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of $320 billion.
It was founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia, with Mohammad bin Salman being the chairman.
While they have everything it takes to take Newcastle to the next level, it remains to be seen if the Premier League will approve their ownership given the concerns Ornstein highlighted, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days and weeks.