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Newcastle United takeover – New owners ready to start work immediately but different board than expected

1 week ago
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Difficult to concentrate on the day job when with the Newcastle United takeover it now appears simply to be a matter of when, not if, it goes through.

Craig Hope at The Mail has just reported that an official announcement could happen as early as this (Thursday) morning.

The man from The Mail revealing that the final details of the deal were being thrashed out late into the (Wednesday) night, with the new owners ready to get to work as soon as they get the ‘keys’ to St James Park.

I think the consensus amongst most Newcastle fans was that if / when a Newcastle United takeover did go through, it would be very rapid news and not something that dragged on forever, once it reached a certain point in the process.

That certainly seems to be the case here.

Whilst overall the Newcastle United takeover process has been a saga of what feels epic proportions, Wednesday’s breaking news of the Saudi kiss and make up with beIN Sports / Qatar had clearly been something worked on very quietly behind the scenes and that work triggering also behind the scenes frantic action regarding this Newcastle United takeover.

A BBC Sport report (see below) late last night confirming this to be the case: ‘…sources have told BBC Sport that an agreement between the Premier League and the consortium was found prior to the news emerging on Wednesday.’

Thankfully, it appears that at very long last, Newcastle fans can finally start looking ahead, wondering what positives lie ahead, rather than endlessly pining for (relative) past glories when supporting this football club was something more than just miserably existing.

So how could this new future look?

Well, once the new owners get the ‘keys’, we can expect to swiftly see a new board of directors announced, replacing the current legal minimum whereby Mike Ashley has Lee Charnley named as his token director.

Back in March 2020, the very reliable George Caulkin of The Athletic told us what the proposed board structure was set to be one the Newcastle United takeover was completed…’Staveley, her husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi, Jamie Reuben (the son of David and the nephew of Simon) and Yasir Al-Rumayyan (the governor of PIF) would sit on the club’s board, while others have been approached about potential roles within the footballing operation.’

Back to the present day though and whilst Luke Edwards of The Telegraph is also expecting official confirmation of the Newcastle United takeover very soon, his information is that it will be a ‘different looking board’ to the one that was provisionally in place over a year and a half ago, as outlined by George Caulkin below. Edwards saying that despite the board set to have a different look, ‘this is still a Saudi project’ as Mike Ashley’s replacements are set to be unveiled.

BBC Sport report – 6 October 2021:

‘A Saudi Arabian takeover of Newcastle United is close to being agreed.

Approval from the Premier League could possibly come in the next 24 hours after a consortium proved the Saudi state would not have control of the club.

Instead the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is set to provide 80% of funds for the £300m deal, will be seen as separate to the state and therefore allow the takeover to pass the Premier League owners’ and directors’ test.

It was believed that a resolution came after Saudi Arabia settled an alleged piracy dispute with Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, which own rights to show Premier League matches in the Middle East.

But sources have told BBC Sport that an agreement between the Premier League and the consortium was found prior to the news emerging on Wednesday, with the two parties being set for arbitration on 3 January.

The Saudi Arabian state has been accused of human rights abuses, but with the majority owner PIF deemed a separate entity, that, and any piracy issues, are no longer an impediment to the takeover in the Premier League’s view.’

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