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Saudi Arabia-backed consortium concludes Newcastle United acquisition

The consortium had tried to take over the Premier League club last year as well, but the deal was collapsed amid concerns about Saudi's human rights abuses and piracy.

The Premier League has announced the takeover of the top-flight English soccer club Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium.

The Premier League in their statement said, “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.

“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.”

“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”

The takeover deal is said to be worth UK£300 million (US$408 million) and will see Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), act as the club’s non-executive chairman, while Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have a seat on the board.

The consortium had tried to take over the Premier League club last year as well, but the deal was collapsed amid concerns about Saudi’s human rights abuses and piracy. The Premier League was also concerned about the power and control that the kingdom’s leadership would have in running the club.

This was then followed by a year of long legal disputes between the club and the league. An agreement has now been finalized, which the Premier League maintains is ‘legally binding’ – that the Saudi state would not control Newcastle.

With the takeover in place, the tenure of Mike Ashley who bought the club in the year 2007 and who has been widely criticized for underinvestment in the club ever since is officially over.

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