The Saudi Arabia-backed takeover of Newcastle has been called OFF.
Amanda Staveley’s company PCP Capital Partners was leading the £300million takeover of the Magpies, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is led by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, backing the deal.
However, the time the takeover has taken and current ‘global uncertainty’ has seen the consortium pull the plug on a deal.
A joint PCP and PIF statement read: “We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help.
“We would like to say that we truly appreciated your incredible expressions of support and your patience throughout this process. We are sorry it is not to be.”
Consortium leader Staveley added: “I’m absolutely heartbroken for the club, the fans and the community.”
Newcastle Takeover Timeline
- January 25, 2020: Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman linked with stunning £340m bid to buy Newcastle
- January 27, 2020: Mike Ashley is ‘furious’ and ‘demanding answers’ after details of Saudi takeover bid are leaked
- April 14, 2020: Documents show Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Group talks with Mike Ashley
- April 22, 2020: Sports network beIN Sports and human rights campaigners Amnesty International write to the Premier League warning them over a possible Saudi takeover
- April 28, 2020: Reports claim Newcastle takeover could be completed in two weeks
- April 30, 2020: Mauricio Pochettino linked with Newcastle job as players such as Kylian Mbappe become transfer targets
- May 13, 2020: Fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi urges fans to reject Saudi owners in passionate letter
- May 25, 2020: Premier League have still not examined £300m takeover bid
- May 26, 2020: Reports claim Saudi takeover is in ‘serious doubt’ over ‘breach of international piracy laws’
- June 6, 2020: Amanda Staveley puts Newcastle takeover on hold due to £1.6bn court case with Barclays
- June 17, 2020: American businessman Henry Mauriss launches rival £350m bid to buy Newcastle
- June 22, 2020: Rumours suggest deal could be approved by the Premier League inside a week
- June 29, 2020: Steve Bruce calls for ‘clarity’ on Newcastle takeover from Premier League
- June 30, 2020: Premier League CEO Richard Masters says decision over £300m Saudi bid will be made ‘shortly’
- July 15, 2020: Proposed deal takes fresh twist as Saudi Arabia bans Middle East’s Premier League broadcaster beIN Sports
- July 30, 2020: Saudi-backed consortium withdraw £300m bid to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley
The attempted takeover of Newcastle was met with controversy due to Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record.
Sports network BeIN Sports and human rights campaigners Amnesty International wrote to the Premier League warning them over a possible Saudi takeover.
Another controversial issue that arose was the World Trade Organisation claiming the country is behind a pirate satellite TV and steaming service offering illegal access to sporting events – including Premier League matches.
The WTO report found that ‘prominent Saudi nationals’ promoted illegal broadcasts by the pirate network beoutQ.
Last month, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters revealed a decision on the Saudi takeover of Newcastle would be made ‘shortly’.
However, the Saudi consortium has lost patience and will no longer be pursuing a deal.