A Saudi Arabia-led takeover of Newcastle United is expected to be completed within the next 48 hours, media in England have reported.
The Premier League are expected to announce Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will complete a buy-out of owner Mike Ashley in a deal worth just over £300 million, ending an 18-month deadlock after an agreement was originally reached in April 2020.
However, PIF, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund (state-owned investment), failed to pass the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test at the time, creating an impasse which has been resolved following intensive talks in recent weeks.
Officially, the Premier League has privately indicated they are now satisfied the consortium has provided proof the Saudi state would not have control of Newcastle.
The deal is likely to meet strong public opposition in many quarters, however, given Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Khashoggi had been critical of the Saudi government and was killed in an act determined by the United States government to have been directly ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ruler of Saudi Arabia and chairman of the PIF.
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By FARPost Reporter