Rafa Benitez never expected the takeover of Newcastle to go ahead, according to reports. The Spaniard previously spent three successful years at St James’ Park. And, with Steve Bruce poised for the sack, there’s been talk of a change in management.
Newcastle are now one of the richest clubs on the planet.
Their £305million takeover was completed on Thursday, with the Premier League then saying in a statement: “The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
“The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover. All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.
“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.
“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”
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The Toon have also been linked with Antonio Conte.
But it’s stated by the publication that the Italian isn’t interested in heading to St James’ Park, and is instead holding out for an offer from a top side instead.
And Newcastle will struggle to get Steven Gerrard out of Rangers, too, with the former midfielder currently happy in Scotland.
Meanwhile, former Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has revealed he turned down a ‘higher offer’ before selling to the Saudis.
“I received a higher offer for the club than the one that I accepted,” Ashley said.
“It was from another reputable bidder who made a credible case … But I felt the bid that we accepted from the current new owners would deliver the best for Newcastle United.
“Money wasn’t my only consideration.
“There were times when I stepped in financially to keep Newcastle United afloat.
“We ensured the wage bills were paid when we went down in order that we could bounce straight back up. Nobody was happier than me when we achieved immediate promotion.
“It’s hard to compete at the highest level in football with certain clubs that have almost unlimited resources.
“I’ve known for some time now that many Newcastle fans were frustrated by the situation and were in favour of a change. I therefore felt that I owed it to the fans to fight tooth and nail over the last 18 months or so to make this happen.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s new non-executive chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan has outlined his plans in an open letter.
“As the new owners, we will listen to the community,” he wrote. “Owning this club is not a responsibility we have taken on lightly.”
“We want to create a consistently successful team.
“We’re here to build long-term success for the club.
“We want to talk to people at the club and across the wider community to get their input before we finalise our plans.
“We will make sure to focus on things that will deliver long-term success.”