'Appalling': Premier League rocked after $570 billion bombshell

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Fans celebrate outside of St James' Park after Newcastle United were taken over by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Newcastle United have been taken over by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). (Getty Images)

A Saudi Arabian-led consortium, worth $590 billion has stunned the Premier League and purchased Newcastle United in a move that could shake up the richest league in the world.

Fourteen months after Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) withdrew a Stg 305 million ($A570 million) bid to buy the English north-east club from owner Mike Ashley following the Premier League's failure to give regulatory approval, a deal was announced after a day of mounting excitement on Tyneside.

'REVOLTING': Football star arrested after 'horrific' on-field attack

'LOST MY S**T': Matildas great details awful assault allegations

Scenes outside of Newcastle United's stadium was one of jubilation as fans celebrated the monumental deal by PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, and partied outside St James' Park.

A statement from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of PIF who will become non-executive chairman of Newcastle, said: "We are extremely proud to become the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most famous clubs in English football."

Fans around the world reacted with disbelief to the deal.

Many wondered how big of a financial impact PIF will have on the struggling Premier League outfit.

While others were against the large amounts of money invested from foreign ownership in to the Premier League, which could further segment the competition.

Controversial Newcastle United takeover confirmed

A rapid sequence of events reignited the deal after Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, a Premier League rights holder, said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia would lift a ban on it and also shut down illegal streaming services, removing a major obstacle behind the collapsed takeover.

Another stumbling block was overcome when the Premier League, who came under pressure to block the deal last year, received "legally binding" assurances that there was clear separation between PIF and the Saudi Arabia state, despite PIF being chaired by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The fate of Newcastle coach Steve Bruce will be high on the agenda of the new owners, who are keen to invest in the club.

Hundreds of Newcastle's 'Toon Army' supporters, who have protested against Ashley's running of the club, gathered outside the stadium in the drizzle throughout the day, buoyed by news of the imminent takeover.

Others, though, said it was just another example of Saudi Arabia "sportswashing".

PIF - Saudi Arabia's $US430 billion ($A590 billion) sovereign wealth fund - is at the centre of plans to transform the economy by diversifying revenues away from oil.

The country has increasingly sought high-profile sports assets, including signing a 10-year deal to stage F1 and hosting Anthony Joshua's heavyweight title fight in 2019.

Newcastle United fans (pictured) hold up a protest banner ahead of the proposed takeover Scenes at St. James's Park.
Newcastle United fans (pictured) hold up a protest banner ahead of the proposed takeover Scenes at St. James's Park. (Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Amnesty UK chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh said that the Saudi authorities were "sportwashing their appalling human rights record with the glamour of top-flight football."

Saudi Arabia's government denies allegations of human rights abuses and says it is protecting national security from extremists and external actors.

Newcastle fans hope the takeover will herald a new era like that at Manchester City who've dominated English football since being bought by Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour in 2008.

The takeover ends the 14-year ownership of Ashley whose stewardship has been deeply unpopular, with the supporters accusing him of under-investment and lack of ambition.

Since Ashley bought the sleeping giants, who last won a domestic trophy in 1955 and have not been top-flight champions since 1927, they have twice been relegated from the Premier League and have not finished higher than 10th since 2012. Another relegation battle is looming.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting