In an update to our story on the proposed takeover of Newcastle United Football Club by a Saudi backed consortium, the deal has now fallen through. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, along with PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers had agreed a deal to takeover the Tyneside club earlier in the year subject to the Premier League’s Owners and Directors Test.
That interest has now ended however. A statement read “With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.”
"We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans' merit.”
"Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.”
"To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.”
"As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and proactivity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club.”
"Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club's owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities.”
"As often occurs with proposed investments in uncertain periods, time itself became an enemy of the transaction, particularly during this difficult phase marked by the many real challenges facing us all from Covid-19”
"We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans, with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its tremendous potential and build upon its impressive and historic legacy while working closely with the local community.”
"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.
"We wish the team and everyone associated with it much good luck and success."
The news comes off the back of a row with Qatari broadcaster beIN Sports and the World Trade Organisation over the alleged piracy of Premier League matches in Saudi Arabia.
Serious questions had also been raised over the consortium’s CEO, Mohammed Bin Salman. As reported previously, Bin Salman’s involvement in several alleged human rights abuses had threatened the deal. Pressure had increased recently on the Premier League to make a decision ahead of the new season, however the deal has now fallen through.