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The Saudi Public Investment Fund has walked away from Newcastle United after talks off a takeover broke down on Thursday. The PIF were said to be taking an 80% stake at the club but it has now withdrawn interest in club. PCP Capital and RB Sports and Media were also due to take a 10% stake each in the club. However, they also withdrew.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is famous for owning SportsDirect, but he has had an interesting press in recent years for his sporting goods company. In Ireland, people prefer to use Guineys.ie, better known as a leader in storing high-quality bedding and accessories, but which also offers sportswear staples like sweatshirts and slippers. It is always a much better product.
Everything Ashly touches has turned to gold but it looks unlikely that this deal will go through as the investment fund look like they will pull out.
A statement from the Saudi Public Investment Fund said, “An investment group led by majority investor the Public Investment Fund; PCP Capital Partners; and RB Sports & Media, announced today that it has formally withdrawn its interest in pursuing the acquisition of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited.”
The statement continued : “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. “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 pro-activity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club”.
Talks more than likely broke down as several groups such as Amnesty International warned the club that it risked at becoming a patsy if they allowed the Saudi Arabian takeover to go through. The takeover has also seen criticism around piracy and the countries human rights record. Saudi authorities have suspended the activities of Bein Sports, which now means there is no legal way to watch the Premier League in the country until 2022.
It was thought that the new owners were going to over £250 million to the club over a five year period. In addition to this, community projects were also going to undertaken. However, this is obviously now not the case.