Newcastle United is an English football club owned by Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners LLP, and Reuben Brothers. With their collective net worth, this might be the richest club ever. First founded in 1892 by Newcastle east end and west end, it has since acquired the nickname of The Magpies. With its home at St. James Park, it has housed players like Martin Dúbravka, Elliot Anderson, Dwight Gayle, and Jamaal Lascelles. Since becoming a member of the Football League in 1893, it has won six FA Cups and Four League Titles. Subsequently, they have the ninth-highest ever trophies won by any English Club.
Newcastle was recently taken over by Mike Ashley, and its new owners are planning to take it to new heights. With Public Investment Fund owning 80% of its shares and the others joining at 10% each, they agree that Newcastle United deserves nothing but the best and are planning on getting to the top of the Premier League. This deal has been made history for multiple reasons as well as left controversies in its wake.
What are these controversies? What made this deal so different than the others before in sports history? Continue reading to know more about this takeover and the Newcastle owner’s net worths.
Newcastle Owners Net Worth
The 80% owner- Public Investment Fund is worth around £320 billion, which makes Newcastle United the richest club in the world till now. Public Investment Fund is Saudi Arabia’s government’s savings account. This money has been gradually acquired through the distribution of oil, but since oil is a non-renewable resource, the country is looking for ways to make money in the long term. Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, is the chair of PIF.
The rest of 20% of shares were split equally between Amanda Staveley from PCP Capital Partners LLP and the Reuben Brothers.
Amanda is very much known for her connections with the Middle East. Even this acquisition was possible because of her. How? She helped the Saudi consortium to get this deal. This wasn’t the first time she helped Middle Eastern investors, though. In 2008 Amanda managed to play an important role in investment in Barclays by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund and the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Qatar. The estimated net worth of Amanda is £110million, mainly from her role as the chief executive of PCP Capital Partners.
The other 10% owners are David and Simon from the Reuben brothers with a net worth of £16 billion. They are mainly known for their property holdings and are declared the 2nd richest family in the UK as of May 2020. Rumourdely, the Reuben Brothers are also looking to expand in renewable energy resources also with PIF.
Newcastle United Takeover
In 2007, Mike Ashley succeeded chairman Sir John Hall and was the owner of the club until 2021. Since then, Mike had put the club up for sale twice but with no luck. Why was Mike so eager to get rid of the club? Especially when it was performing so well? The reason is quite simple if you think about it. Mike’s a businessman and has multiple investments. After becoming the owner, it slowly became clear news to every investor and follower that he did not invest in his players as much it was required and is quite distracted with his other ventures.
As it is said third times the charm. After putting the club in the market for sale the third time, it was finally bought for £305 million on October 7, 2021. This acquisition made Newcastle United the richest football club. Though everyone invested in the club was on board for this takeover, some fans were also worried. What was the reason for this concern when they were getting such a great change for their favorite club? It might have something to do with the 80% owner of the club PIF backed by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and his stand on human rights.
Why was this a matter of concern? In 2019 a UN report came out claiming “the state of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible” for the death of a journalist named Jamal Khashoggi. The crown prince is accused of ordering his murder because he was critical of the government. Though it has always been denied, fans were still concerned about PIF’s involvement.
UAE is also criticized for sports washing, which is majorly distracting people from their decisions on human rights to their investment in sports. Saudi Arabia’s choice of treatment of women, the death penalty, and LGBTQIA+ rights have been declared poor, and people are hoping that this investment would lead to change instead of just participating in sports washing.
It came as a great relief that Premier League received legally binding assurance that the state would not control Newcastle.