Yasir Al-Rumayyan’s ‘very important’ gesture to Newcastle United squad in Saudi Arabia
Newcastle are currently on a week-long warm weather training camp in Saudi Arabia which includes a friendly match against Al Hilal on Thursday evening (5pm kick-off GMT). Visiting the kingdom has also given the United players and staff the opportunity to get to know the club’s owners.
Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi travelled with the squad to Riyadh where they met up with PIF governor and Magpies chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan on Monday.
And in the evening, Al-Rumayyan invited the Newcastle squad and staff to his home in Riyadh.
Reflecting on the visit, United midfielder Joelinton told the club website: “It was nice, we’ve spent time together knowing his family. He’s a very open person so he’s tried to help us and we had a very good night.
“It’s very important. It shows the owners, the players and the staff, everyone is going in the same direction and it brings good things for the team on the pitch. It gives us more confidence and we know if we need anything they are here for us which is very important.”
While Al-Rumayyan leaves the day-to-day running of Newcastle to CEO Darren Eales and sporting director Dan Ashworth, he has frequently visited St James’s Park to watch matches since the takeover last October.
The 52-year-old’s most recent Newcastle match was the 3-3 thriller against Manchester City at St James’s Park back in August.
And on the year anniversary of the takeover, Al-Rumayyan published an open letter to supporters.
“Thank you for your incredible support,” wrote Al-Rumayyan. “I am very conscious of the contributions that you all make – on and off the field.
"Football clubs are driven by their fans. And this club’s fans are more passionate and more committed than any others. I have seen for myself on many occasions how Newcastle fans have lifted our team.
“As we mark the first anniversary of our takeover of the club, it seemed appropriate to take the time to say thank you – on behalf of the Newcastle board.”