Saudi takeover of Newcastle United called off as it is ‘no longer commercially viable’

30 July 2020, 16:42

It is understood Saudi Arabia's sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) ran out of patience waiting for approval
It is understood Saudi Arabia's sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) ran out of patience waiting for approval. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Saudi-Arabian backed PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers have withdrawn interest in buying Newcastle United after months of negotiation.

Documents relating to a £300m takeover were registered only 16 weeks ago with the Premier League.

It is understood Saudi Arabia's sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) ran out of patience waiting for approval after the owners' and directors' scrutinised the deal.

A joint statement from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media consortium

It 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.

PIF's chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
PIF's chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Picture: PA

"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."

PIF's chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Premier League's lawyers had seemed to be struggling to establish the precise links between the consortium and Saudi state.

The threat of limited fans in stadiums as a result of coronavirus coupled with economic uncertainty was also said to have contributed to the collapse of the deal.

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