Newcastle United fans were disappointed with Mike Ashley’s stinginess. Ashley has been the first multi-million striker in the English Premier League and has owned the club for 14 years. Newcastle was finally liberated from the hands of this British billionaire — at least the fans of the club might think so.
English Premier League authorities confirmed in a statement that the Saudi-owned consortium had bought Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and Arabic Sports Media Newcastle. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, PIF
— head of the fund.
Ashley relinquished ownership of Newcastle for £300 million ($408m). A statement from the Premier League said, “PIF, PCP Capital Partners and the Arab Sports Media Consortium have ended their dispute over the ownership of Premier League clubs Newcastle United and St James Holdings Limited. With this, Newcastle United was sold to this consortium. ‘
However, Amnesty International warned against handing over Newcastle to a Saudi-owned company. They claimed that the Saudi monarchy would use the club to try to erase past human rights abuses, in the language of sports, “sportswashing”. But a statement from the Premier League confirmed that the Saudi monarchy would not control the club, adding that they had received “legal promises”.
Who is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
The 36-year-old has been Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia since June 2017 and is also the country’s deputy prime minister, Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, Chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and Minister of Defense.
Bin Salman is estimated to have a personal fortune of around £13 billion ($17.6bn), which would place him just behind Manchester City supremo Sheikh Mansour on a list of the Premier League’s richest owners.