Premier League approves takeover of Mike Ashley's Newcastle United

7 October 2021, 17:29 | Updated: 7 October 2021, 18:49

By Sophie Barnett

Mike Ashley's 14-year spell as the owner of Newcastle United has come to an end after the Premier League approved the takeover by a Saudi-backed consortium.

News of the Saudi takeover saw scenes at St James' Park erupt into celebration on Thursday evening, with fans singing, dancing and spraying beer as they waved goodbye to their unpopular owner, retail tycoon Mike Ashley.

In a statement, the Premier League 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 club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect.

"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."

Read more: Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley steps down as Frasers Group boss

Daniel Walsh, a beloved Newcastle United fan, told LBC he feels "ecstatic" following the news of the takeover.

"I'm just over the moon that finally hope is coming back to my football club," he said.

"Hope, ambition and hopefully progress in the future."

He told LBC the feeling outside the St James' Park stadium was "electric", adding: "People are throwing beer in the air, people are hoying their scarves round and their t-shirts, it's very loud as you can probably hear.

"It's all this sort of energy which has been trapped inside for so long, after 14 years of Mike Ashley."

Ian Beeby, from Longbenton, Newcastle, said he could hardly speak for the emotion he felt.

"We have got our hope back," he said. "It's the best feeling ever.

"It's not about the money for me. The money is good, but it's all about the hope, actually coming to the game and them having a go.

"Hopefully they will rejuvenate the city too."

Mike Ashley is now understood to be considering his legal options.

This story is being updated