The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is moving closer to a 300 million pound takeover of the Newcastle United club from Mike Ashley. Newcastle United could soon have new owners after years of frustration and disappointment under Mike Ashley’s tenure. Newcastle United fans have witnessed two relegations under Mike Ashley’s stewardship. Lack of financial investment into the team has been a critical reason for Newcastle’s struggles and also forced the previous manager Rafa Benitez to leave the club last summer. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is worth an astronomical 320 billion pounds. The proposal takeover will make Newcastle the wealthiest club in England, so much so that the rest of the 19 owners combined wealth wouldn’t be able to match what Newcastle will have at their disposal.
The main objective behind the proposed takeover is to improve the fortunes of the club and transform Newcastle United into a Premier League and Champions League contender similar to that of the acquisitions of Chelsea and Man City in the past.
Could Newcastle become enormous contenders for the Premier League title?
Newcastle has won four English top-flight titles, but none of them have come in the Premier League era. The closest they came to clinching the league title during the Premier League era was way back in the 1995-96 season when they squandered a 12 point lead at the top of the table to Man United. If the proposed takeover finally happens, one of their major priorities will be challenging for titles, much like they used to in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. The Middle Eastern Kingdom is one of the wealthiest states in the world, and their backing would potentially make Newcastle a significant player when it comes to signing players, similar to Man City’s transformation under Sheikh Mansour. Newcastle has been linked with some superstars across the top five major leagues in Europe since the news of the proposed takeover broke out. The likes of Moussa Dembele, Franck Kessie, Antoine Griezman, Phillipe Coutinho, and Napoli’s dependable defender Khalidou Koulibally have all been linked with a potential move to join Newcastle United this summer. If they are to land all these players in the summer, they could become genuine title contenders. As such, the toxicity surrounding Newcastle could finally go away with fans hopeful of returning to the glory days. The Abu Dhabi Group took over Man City in 2008 and changed the face of English football, turning the previously inconsistent Blue side of Manchester into an elite European club. Since breaking a 35-year trophy duck with an FA Cup in 2011, the club has not looked back, claiming four league titles an unprecedented treble in 2019. Chelsea, on the other hand, has also overseen an era of unprecedented success at the club since Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003.
Since Abrahamovic’s arrival, the club has won five Premier League titles and the once-elusive Champions League trophy in 2012, amongst other Cups. However, the big question is, can Newcastle achieve the same feat after the takeover.
What next for Newcastle United after the takeover?
The Newcastle United fans will want to see a project that has them at the heart of things, meaning a lot of changes could take place. One of the significant decisions that are likely to happen will be a change of manager. The fans will hope they become a permanent top-six Premier League side at the very least with an ethos centered on playing attractive football. Will Steve Bruce be the key to the Saudi royal family’s vision for champagne football? Steve Bruce hasn’t had any massive backing from those in the stands. A section of Newcastle fans was not happy when he was appointed last summer. Steve Bruce’s teams aren’t known for playing exciting football. This project might be too big for Steve Bruce to handle. Mauricio Pochettino, Max Allegri, and former boss Rafa Benitez are all considered as potential replacements for Steve Bruce if he departs his role at Newcastle. Another issue they should tackle after the takeover is kit sponsors. Over the years, Newcastle fans have not been impressed with their kit sponsors.
The kit sponsorship deal with Wonga sometime ago did not go down well with the fans who felt that is was an insult to associate the loan company with more unfortunate fans. Currently, Newcastle has a kit sponsorship deal with Fun88, a betting company. As a result of the Fun88 agreement, the club received a fine for placing the company’s name on the youth team players’ shirts. The deal with Fun88 and kit manufacturer Puma will come to an end very soon. The potential new owners will be looking to secure bigger deals after the takeover to boost the club’s brand worldwide.