Premier League owner's Newcastle United verdict will delight fans

Todd Boehly has said what the others are thinking.

Saturday, 18th June 2022, 12:00 pm

The Premier League’s so-called “big six” haven’t said a great deal, at least in public, about last year’s Newcastle United takeover.

We know, however, that there was some top-flight opposition to the sale which saw Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which has estimated assets of more than £500billion, take an 80% stake in the club.

After all, there’s only so much European football, and so much broadcast money, to go around.

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Newcastle United co-owner Amanda Staveley arrives at St James's Park following last October's takeover.

But the £305million deal, eventually, was passed by the Premier League amid legal challenges. Newcastle, 19th in the table at the time, ended the campaign in 11th place following a remarkable mid-season turnaround.

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The question now is exactly how much higher, and how quickly, the club can push up the Premier League.

Howe, keen to manage expectations, will most likely keep his own targets for the 2022/23 season private, though titles and Champions League football are explicit long-term aims of the club’s ownership group.

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge last month.

Co-owner Amanda Staveley said last October: “We have faith in the long-term success at Newcastle United. We’re long-term, patient investors. We’re in this for the long haul – and we’re here to invest.

“We don’t want to make promises we can’t keep. It’ll take time to get to where we want to get to, but we have big ambitions. We’re going to not only invest in players, but the club.”

United had just one European campaign during Mike Ashley’s 14 years as owner, but Boehly – who bought Chelsea along with Clearlake Capital late last month in a £4.25billion deal – sees a return to the continent as a near-certainty going forward.

Speaking at a SuperReturn International private equity conference in Berlin this week, Boehly said: “The ‘big six’ will become the ‘big seven’ with the Saudi deal for Newcastle. There’s going to be opportunity for everyone to win.”

Certainly, there’s a massive opportunity for Newcastle to progress this season under Eddie Howe.

The club has an opportunity to challenge the likes of Chelsea for Champions League football over the coming years. And Boehly articulated what the “big six” must be thinking – or even fearing.