Newcastle celebrates as Saudi-led takeover confirmed
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Newcastle icon Alan Shearer has given small details on what he expects from the club’s new owners in the January transfer market after holding multiple conversations with them. Talk of a takeover bid at Newcastle from the Saudi-led consortium sprung up last year, leading to hysteria among fans that Mike Ashley was about to sell.
That deal spectacularly collapsed though as the consortium pulled the plug while the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test was being finalised.
But this week saw a major U-turn after a resolution was found after Saudi Arabia reportedly settled a piracy issue with beIN Sports.
There had been some concerns about the state’s involvement, but the Premier League have seemingly accepted that majority owner PIF will be a separate entity.
Things moved quickly in a few days and the £305million takeover was officially completed on Thursday.
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Newcastle supporters celebrated wildly outside St James’ Park with former players welcoming the news.
Shearer has long hoped for big changes at Newcastle with the club struggling to recapture their former glory since 2004.
The Magpies legend was outspoken on Ashley’s reign at the club, slamming the British billionaire for his management of Newcastle.
But Newcastle have now become the world’s richest football club overnight with many speculating on what they could do in the transfer market.
Under Financial Fair Play regulations, Newcastle are in a good position to still within the guidelines and still spend almost £200m in just one window.
However, Shearer has claimed that PIF’s approach in the transfer market will be “slow”.
“Amanda Staveley, the British financier, has put together this consortium and steered a deal through to completion four long years after she first attended a match at St James’,” he wrote for The Athletic.
“Hers is a story of perseverance, but it is Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the group that will capture the headlines and steer the narrative.
“Theoretically at least, Newcastle now become the wealthiest club in the world, although my understanding is that the new owners’ approach will be deliberate and slow.”
Shearer’s “understanding” may well stem from a few conversations he’s already held with the new owners.
“I don’t think I’m giving much away by saying that I’ve already had a couple of telephone conversations with people involved in the consortium and I appreciated the gesture, made out of courtesy,” he added.
“It’s not about me, but it’s already more than I’d had from Ashley since the afternoon we sat together after Newcastle’s relegation in May 2009 and shook hands on a plan to get back up to the Premier League. No phone call, no nothing.”
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