Newcastle United takeover will transform club into 'major force'

Newcastle United will be transformed into “major force” in football – if the proposed takeover is given the go-ahead.

That’s the view of Michael Chopra as the Premier League considers the £300million deal agreed by Amanda Staveley and 80% funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The takeover has faced an objection from Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports on piracy grounds, while it is also opposed by the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Amnesty International over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Speaking on the latest Mouth of the Tyne podcast, former United striker Chopra said: “I personally thought it would have been done by now.

“We’ve got a lot of people trying to sabotage the deal. The latest reports are on the television rights and beIN Sports and Qataris. People in Saudi have come out and said that they’re going to come to an agreement with them, which is good news.

“Let’s hope that’s the last hurdle to get over. “

Chopra tried to broker a sale to a Saudi group in late 2018, and he’s excited by the prospect of new, ambitious owners.

“It’ll be massive for the club,” said Chopra. “If it’s done correctly, Newcastle United will be a major force in world football, not just European football.”

Amanda Staveley.

Chopra revealed Saudi interest in Newcastle last summer.

“It goes back to October 2018 when I first contacted them about a group from Saudi wanting to purchase a Premier League club,” said Chopra.

“I believed Newcastle would have been a perfect fit. I spoke to Mike Ashley’s lawyer, asked him for the mandate and necessary paperwork needed to go forward. Basically he told me to (go away) and told the Saudis to jump on a plane and go to see him.

“Then I thought Newcastle United don’t really want to sell the football club. Then a year later all the stuff comes out about the Crown Prince (Mohammad Bin Salman) wanting to buy Newcastle, and fair play to Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers to put the deal together. Without them two it would never have happened.”

Michael Chopra.

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Mouth of the Tyne podcast.