Newcastle United: What will the takeover mean?
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Newcastle United’s new executive chairman, Yasir al-Rumayyan, has sent a parting message to Mike Ashley after their £300million takeover of the Magpies was confirmed on Thursday. Fans have lined the streets outside St James’ Park to celebrate Ashley’s departure, with their new owners set to make them the richest club in the Premier League.
After lying dormant for months, the takeover bid sprung back into life on Wednesday when a long-running broadcast dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar was resolved.
Qatar-based beIN Sports had the rights to broadcast the Premier League in the Middle East, and when that conflict of interests was removed by the truce, the wheels were once again set in motion.
Planned legal proceedings between Ashley and the Premier League for not permitting the original takeover bid in 2020 were set aside, leaving only the formalities to complete.
The Premier League ultimately gave the green light to all details presented, and the takeover was officially confirmed to bring Ashley’s controversial tenure to an end.
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Al-Rumayyan said: “The directors of the Investment Group thank Mike Ashley for his commitment to the sale process.
“We would also like to thank the Premier League for its contribution in the regulatory process, which has helped lead to the completion of this deal.”
While some disgruntled fans unveiled a banner outside St James’ Park to show their displeasure at the takeover, others are jubilant.
Videos have surfaced on social media which show raucous celebrations, blaring car horns and beer thrown everywhere.
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Ultimately, the fans are rejoicing in the end of an era which saw their club financially neglected while the country’s other big hitters kicked on.
With their vast wealth now behind them, star-studded signings are sure to follow, while it remains to be seen how manager Steve Bruce will be affected given their poor start to the campaign.
Essentially, the sky is now the limit for the Magpies and the fans are set to embark on a brand new chapter in the club’s history.
Al-Rumayyan added: “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 as a team.”
Naturally, the vast wealth and past human rights accusations of the Saudi state carry a new controversy to Newcastle’s owners, no later than their existing controversial figure walks away.
Exactly how drastic the change could be on Tyneside is likely to unfold most strikingly during the January transfer window, unless they make a hasty decision on Bruce in the near future.
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