Yasir Al-Rumayyan has given game away on Newcastle United plans in revealing takeover interview
Yasir Al-Rumayyan spent big on Newcastle United almost a year ago.
Al-Rumayyan’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought 80% of the Premier League club in last year’s £305million takeover. The other 20% of the club is shared between Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi’s PCP Capital Partners and Jamie Reuben’s RB Sports & Media.
The ownership group have since funded an extraordinary £200million-plus spending spree in the transfer market, the like of which was never seen during Mike Ashley’s 14 years as owner.
Most recently, Alexander Isak joined from Real Sociedad in a club-record £60million deal.
Yet PIF governor Al-Rumayyan, appointed chairman following the takeover, is an astute investor – and this spending makes absolute sense from both a football and financial perspective.
PIF are building something. They are adding value to a club which was hollowed out in the Ashley years.
They have a fundamentally different approach to club ownership, and Al-Rumayyan hinted at their strategy after revealing PIF turned down a stake in another Premier League club, possibly Manchester United, on the Socrates podcast.
Speaking about the Newcastle proposal, Al-Rumayyan said: “When we looked at it, we looked at it from a financial perspective.
“By the way, it wasn’t the first offer we got regarding a football team. We looked in Italy, France and the UK as well.
“For example, in the UK there was a team that approached us on the basis that we take 30% of the ownership, and we don’t interfere at all in terms of managing the club, for £700million.
“Then we bought Newcastle, who offered us 100% of the ownership. But Amanda Staveley and her husband (Mehrdad Ghodoussi), who got us the opportunity, told us ‘we like it so much, we would like to be with you’. That was perfect.
“Then came the Reuben family, who are one of the biggest property investors, saying that ‘we would like to come with you’, and these are one of the biggest investors in Newcastle.
“I said ‘perfect! Tell them to come’. So now they have skin in the game.
“We bought the whole team for £350million, instead of only having 30% in another team for £700million.”
Al-Rumayyan and his co-owners haven’t just invested in the playing squad. They’re also expanding recruiting staff across a number of departments, and expanding and improving the club’s training facilities.
And United, as a club, is already worth more than what it was sold for by Ashley.
But this is just the start for Al-Rumayyan and his partners, who appointed Eddie Howe as head coach last November with the club 19th in the Premier League.
Today, Newcastle are seventh in the division after losing just one of their first eight games – and looking up the table.
“You can see Chelsea was sold for $3.5billion, so my potential now is to go from £350million to at least $3.5billion,” said Al-Rumayyan, who has attended a number of games at St James’s Park since PIF and its partners bought the club.
The takeover is already paying off – on and off the pitch.