Yasir Al-Rumayyan reveals £700m proposal from Newcastle United's Premier League rivals
Newcastle United majority owners, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, were approached by a rival Premier League club prior to last October’s takeover.
The £305million takeover of Newcastle was completed a year ago this week. Since then, the club have benefited from significant investment on and off the pitch as they aim to compete at the top of the Premier League.
But Magpies chairman and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan has revealed that another Premier League club had approached PIF regarding a £700million investment for a 30-per-cent stake in the club.
That club is believed to be Manchester United, according to a report in The Athletic.
PIF turned down the opportunity to invest in The Red Devils and instead pursued to takeover Newcastle as majority shareholders.
The takeover was hit by several delays and was opposed by a number of Premier League clubs, including Man United.
But it eventually went through on October 7, 2021 with PIF becoming 80-per-cent owners alongside PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, who own 10-per-cent each.
And Al-Rumayyan confirmed that PIF’s interest to invest in Premier League had been in the works for a number of years, and Newcastle presented the ‘perfect’ opportunity.
“Football, of course, is one of the most important sports there is. Whether domestically [in Saudi Arabia] or abroad,” he said. “It’s the number one sport in the world.
“And why the English Premier League? Because it’s the best league in the world. No other league competes with it.
“There are 20 teams, three are relegated and three are promoted. The advantage of the Premier League is that any of the 20 teams can beat the best team in the league.
“When we looked at it, we looked at it from a financial perspective. By the way, [Newcastle] 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-per-cent of the ownership, and we don’t interfere at all in terms of managing the club, for £700million.”
Al-Rumayyan added: “Then we bought Newcastle, who offered us 100 per cent 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 [Amanda, her husband and Reubens] have a skin in the game.
“We bought the whole team for £350million, instead of only having 30-per-cent in another team for £700million.”
Al-Rumayyan is targeting significant growth for Newcastle both on the pitch and in terms of the club’s value.
“You can see Chelsea was sold for $3.5billion,” he continued. “So, my potential now is to go from £350million to at least $3.5billion.”