The Saudi Arabian takeover at Newcastle United moved a step closer this morning as newspaper insist there is “no backing out from either side now”.
The proposed £300m takeover would see the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) take a controlling 80% stake in the Tyneside club.
The remaining 20% would be split evenly between British financier Amanda Staveley and billionaire property moguls the Reuben Brothers.
This morning, in the wee early hours, Australian journalist Adam Peacock quoted British newspaper The Times in saying that the deal had been “clinched”.
He also tweeted that a source said that there is “no backing out from either side now”.
The deal will see Mike Ashley finally leave Tyneside after a 13 year period in which he has sealed his reputation as one of football’s worst owners.
Reportedly, the deal now hinges on checks by the Premier League that sources on the buying side have insisted are a “formality”.
The evidence in the past seems to back that up. The tests are there more to make sure that the new owners have the financial capabilities to keep the club on solid ground – and that should be no problem.
The new ownership, headed up by the PIF, will make Newcastle, on paper, the richest club in the world.
The current title holders in that department are the Manchester City owners, headed up by Sheikh Mansour, at £23bn.
The PIF are worth an estimated £250bn. If you add up the worth of all the other owners in the Premier League, they still couldn’t touch that level of wealth.
How much they’ll sink into the club remains to be seen but the truth is, if this takeover goes through Newcastle United’s owners will be the richest football club owners on the planet.
For now, it seems Newcastle United fans are 3-4 weeks away from being able to celebrate. If I were you, I’d get those cans in the fridge…