According to the Independent, their sources inside the Newcastle United takeover are keen to downplay speculation that the Magpies are about to become the richest club in world football.
The proposed £300m takeover of Newcastle United will see the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) put up 80% of the money and take a controlling stake in the club. The deal has been fronted by Amanda Staveley – her company PCP Partners will take 10% while the Reuben Brothers will take the remaining 10%.
Due to the immense wealth attributed to the Saudi Arabian PIF, many fans, journalists and pundits alike were quick to point out that this deal would make Newcastle the richest club in world football on paper.
The PIF are said to be worth somewhere in the region of £250bn – streets ahead of the next closest Premier League owners in Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi Group, who are said to be worth around £21bn.
However, the Independent report this morning states that Newcastle are NOT about to become the richest club in the world. It states that, regardless of the current financial landscape, spending will be “sensible” once the takeover goes through.
“Newcastle is not about to become the richest club in the world,” a source told the Independent. “Newcastle will have very rich owners but that does not mean massive spending.
“Even if the environment was the same as when Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003 or Abu Dhabi went into City five years later, things would still be done differently.
“This takeover is based on strict investment criteria. Even if there were no financial fair play (FFP) rules in place spending would be sensible.”
In more positive news, the report also says that the buyers are still growing in confidence that the takeover of Newcastle United will be completed. But the end of the report states that:
“The majority of Newcastle supporters just want Ashley out but the Saudis may not be the big-spending saviours that some imagine. The era of cautious spending is likely to continue on Tyneside, whoever controls the boardroom.”
Make of that what you will.