Newcastle United have new owners, ending Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign at the club. A Saudi Arabian-financed consortium led by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has bought out Ashley for a fee in the region of $415 million.

Newcastle dream team
Newcastle United’s supporters dream that their club will go after the biggest stars in world football after the Saudi takeover was completed. (Image: Twitter/opresii)

The takeover process lasted for more than 18 months after the new owners had to solve their legal problems with the Premier League.

“The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club, and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners, and RB Sports & Media. Following the completion of the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect,” a statement from the Premier League said.

“The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover. All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership. The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club,” the press release added.

“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans,” the message from the Premier League assured.

Fans gathered in their thousands outside St. James’ Park in Newcastle to celebrate Ashley’s departure and the start of a new era at the club. The new owners are expected to pump big money, as supporters now dream of the biggest stars in world football joining Newcastle.

“We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football,” Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of PIF, said.

“We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to work together with them,” he added.

“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,” Amanda Staveley, chief executive officer of PCP Capital Partners, said.

“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,” she vowed.

Newcastle now have the richest owners in world football

In July 2020, the Premier League failed to give regulatory approval for the takeover and the deal was off. The problem was the insufficient separation between the Saudi state and its Public Investment Fund (PIF), which was supposed to own 80% of Newcastle United. Staveley was supposed to get 10%, while British businessmen David and Simon Reuben the other 10%.

Despite Ashley and Newcastle beginning arbitration proceedings and engaging in a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), which was heard last week, negotiations between all parties have continued, amid political pressure at the highest level, The Athletic writes.

The ownership structure will stay the same as the original plan.

It is expected that 60-year-old manager Steve Bruce will be the first ‘victim’ of the new administration, with the owners currently on the lookout for a big name to take over.

Newcastle currently sit second from bottom in the Premier League, with three points from seven games. They are winless since the start of the current campaign.

With a fortune estimated to be at around $355 billion, the Saudi royal family is the richest football club owner in the world. Man. City‘s Sheikh Mansour comes second, but is worth more than 10 times less at $31 billion, while the mind behind RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg’s rise, Dietrich Mateschitz, has a fortune estimated to be as high as $21.3 billion.