Newcastle Utd's controversial takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has finally gone through, ending Mike Ashley's much criticised 14-year ownership of the club in which time they have twice been relegated from the Premier League.

The Premier League approved the £305M takeover after receiving "legally binding assurances" that the Saudi state would not control the club.

That is despite the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being listed as the chair of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which will provide 80% of funds for the deal and seen by the Premier League as an entity that is separate from the Kingdom of Sadia Arabia, despite this obvious connection with its ruler.

Mohammed bin Salman is heavily implicated in the brutal murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Instanbul 3 years ago. That shocking crime was perpetrated by operatives believed to be working on orders from the Crown Prince, to silence his criticism of the Saudi regime.

Reader Comments (155)

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Brian Harrison
1 Posted 07/10/2021 at 11:45:04
I see that it looks like that the Saudi takeover of Newcastle is now very close, and reports suggest it could be completed in the next couple of days. I saw a journalist quoted today as saying that the Saudis have a plan already once they get the go ahead.

They plan to reinstate the old club badge, immediately employ an as yet unnamed Director of Football and it's suggested that they will approach Benitez to take over. Now, if that happens, I wonder what decision Benitez would make? Because under Ashley, they spent very little.

The Saudis will be able to invest heavily on players starting in January, maybe that might appeal to Benitez having a huge warchest were, if he stays here, he will still have some constraints regarding FFP.

Also the fans up there adore him and I suspect he would be their fans' Number 1 choice as manager; what better start to their ownership if they could persuade Benitez to take over?

Barry Hesketh
2 Posted 07/10/2021 at 11:55:19

The possibility of Newcastle United being sold to the Saudis was always a concern I had in Everton FC appointing Rafa, the only saving grace is that the Spaniard and his family seem very settled on Merseyside and some of our fans are beginning to appreciate the job he is doing at Goodison.

We'll have to wait and see I suppose as nothing in football should surprise us any longer. I noticed a list of the Premier League's richest owners earlier today and Moshiri is only about twelfth in the list and the owners with the most wealth own some of the less fashionable clubs, it's getting ever more competitive in the Premier League off the pitch at least.

Paul Hewitt
3 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:31:15

Apparently Newcastle Utd's new owners are worth £302 billion. Mind-blowing.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:35:54
The Saudi money for investment might be important but more so for me is a coach to work intelligently with what's being spent. Dare I say a Rafa?

I guess the Saudis will give Newcastle a lift - preferably six more to take away fans up to their section of the ground, instead of those killer stairs.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 07/10/2021 at 12:38:12
A good friend of mine who is a years long St James' Park season ticket holder was hopeful that once the deal went through, they'd get Benitez back. But that was in the summer.

Another text me on my birthday last month with best wishes but asked for their manager back!

Andrew Ellams
6 Posted 07/10/2021 at 13:12:44
I think the new Newcastle owners will want to make a big statement so might just fish for somebody like Pochettino instead.

It will be interesting to see which players heads they will be able to turn. I can think of a certain French striker who is out of contract in June.

Dave Abrahams
7 Posted 07/10/2021 at 13:29:50
If Mr Benitez was still unemployed, he would be Newcastle’s Number One choice to go back and manage them again. I hope they don’t ask him to go back, I know how lucky we are to have him, and I shudder to think who we could get, who is better than Benitez, if Benitez does go back.

Count your blessings he is our manager.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 07/10/2021 at 13:50:36
I'd echo that, Dave Abrahams. If they could, they would. Massively popular up there.
Barry Rathbone
9 Posted 07/10/2021 at 14:06:39
Be fascinating to see if Newcastle can emulate City with the Arab dollars. I always thought a major problem (beyond money) was attracting players to the frozen north, allied to English not being spoken in those parts.

The homily of "money talks" will be thoroughly tested.

Rob Halligan
10 Posted 07/10/2021 at 14:13:24
Brent, those stairs at Newcastle are an absolute nightmare. I’ve seen people being physically sick walking up them. Not good if you’ve had a few pints before attempting to climb them.
Brent Stephens
11 Posted 07/10/2021 at 14:32:39
Rob #170 "Brent, those stairs at Newcastle are an absolute nightmare. I’ve seen people being physically sick walking up them."

Yes, and you never offered to help me, you b...!

Lee Courtliff
12 Posted 07/10/2021 at 16:23:32
Does this Newcastle take over deserve a thread of its own?

I mean, we could easily be looking at another Man City! And with us failing to take advantage of Spurs and Arsenal imploding over the last few years, this could well mean we are stuck in mid-table for, at least, another lifetime or 2!!

I'm hoping it's either just Paper Talk or they do takeover and blow an absolute fortune without making a single stride of progress...bit like us.

Robert Tressell
13 Posted 07/10/2021 at 16:26:27
Fortunately, we already have Benitez. I notice the Toon are linked with a lot of the same ropey alternatives we had lined up.

Of the better choices, Mancini and Martinez are probably focussed on the World Cup for the time being. Conte might just take the job if they promise him a huge spending spree.

Otherwise it might be a good opportunity for the current Rangers manager to get found out in a competitive league. Or a German.

Brian Harrison
14 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:38:31

The Saudi takeover will allow them to spend colossal amounts, its not supposed to be financed by the Saudi royal family but to all intensive purposes it is. I know the Premier league have said they will take action if they find out the Saudi Royal family are behind this bid, I am sure the Saudis will make it impossible for the premier league to ascertain the proof they need.

They will make what Mansoor did at City look like a walk in the park, I see even some news outlets are reporting that Salah is very friendly with the Saudi Royal family and they could make an audacious offer for him in the Jan window. I would think with there wealth there is nobody they cant afford Mbappe will be another on their radar probably Kane. I would just caution whichever person they appoint as manager if they don't start winning right away then don't go into any of their embassy's as the Crown Prince will have your body dismembered and flown to Saudi to be disposed of just as they did with Kashoggi.

Michael Lynch
15 Posted 07/10/2021 at 17:45:22
I assume the Barcodes will be subject to the same FFP rules that have seen us only having a tenner to spend in the transfer window. I also assume they'll waste half a billion quid in much the same way that we did, trying to attract players and managers for a big pay day at a club they don't really want to play for.

In other words, welcome to the "no chance of catching up with the big boys" club, unless you do it by picking up astute bargains like Leicester did and like we have done this time around.

Dennis Stevens
16 Posted 07/10/2021 at 18:29:50
If they've really got the money, they can take on the authorities in the same way Super League clubs have. Then, if they win, that'll be the end of FFP, etc.
Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 07/10/2021 at 18:46:37
Newcastle will be more are less down by Christmas. Who wants to join a Championship club?
Peter Neilson
18 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:02:13
Paul I think Koeman and Walsh will be up for it.
Colin Glassar
19 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:02:21
Good luck to the long suffering geordie fans. They’ve hit the jackpot whereas we got a poor(ish) billionaire who’s a bit of a div.
Paul Hewitt
20 Posted 07/10/2021 at 19:19:29
How can you have a poorish Billionaire?
Howard Sykes
21 Posted 07/10/2021 at 20:03:40

I think you have to add Newcastle Utd to your top three now they have been bought by Saudi Arabia.

Peter Neilson
22 Posted 07/10/2021 at 20:27:15
Howard, maybe, wouldn't surprise me. While FFP has pulled up the drawbridge limiting expenditure based on income, they could do a Man City and come up with vastly inflated sponsorship deals. Legal fees won't be an issue with $500Bn. It helps when you're owned by a country (which is what this is, despite the Premier League statement).

Public Investment Fund is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia and only invests funds for the government of Saudi Arabia. It's been criticised as the least transparent sovereign wealth fund in the world. Maybe a minutes silence in memory of Jamal Khashoggi before each Newcastle game. This is sportswashing at its worst.

Kevin Molloy
23 Posted 07/10/2021 at 22:13:16
What would really throw the cat among the pigeons is if the Saudis wave a £20M-a-year contract under Rafa's nose. Who could turn that down, and they're just crazy enough to. Hopefully that won't happen and they go for Conte.
Dennis Stevens
24 Posted 07/10/2021 at 22:53:54
Maybe they'll set their sights on Goofy across the park, Kevin!
Kevin Molloy
25 Posted 07/10/2021 at 23:07:54
Goofy would love that, Dennis. He'd call a press conference just so he could turn them down 'on moral grounds' and then the whole fanbase could hug themselves even tighter. Wonderful.
Alan McGuffog
26 Posted 08/10/2021 at 09:05:48
Presumably emissaries from the House of Saud will be making their way to L4 to seek advice from Guru Bill?

Did he not say that clubs always ponder on what Everton would do in times of great change?

Michael Lynch
27 Posted 08/10/2021 at 09:37:58
I'd be interested in the views of those in the know about these things on here, but the papers seem to be suggesting that - because Ashley was so frugal - the Barcodes will have over £200m available to invest in players before FFP kicks in. But that's £200m over the next three seasons.

So Newcastle might well be challenging us for a place in the top half of the table but, unless they spend wisely (not like us) and bring in the right coach (again, not like us when we had money to spend), they ain't going to be worrying the likes of Man City and Liverpool, who can outspend them and attract top players with massive wages and European football.

Barry Hesketh
28 Posted 08/10/2021 at 09:55:41
Michael @56
As long as Newcastle, have commercial deals in place that are considered to be a fair market rate, and the club does not make losses that exceed £105m per year over three years, there isn't a limit to how much they can spend on wages and transfer fees.

Everton found itself limited in the transfer market due to having suffered huge losses year on year and no significant growth in commercial deals and revenue. The restrictions in the marketplace will continue for Everton for at least a season longer, unless we sell the likes of Dominic or Richarlison to fund transfers.

As someone mentioned on another thread, the new owners at Newcastle are likely to take on the football authorities because they can afford to fund the lawyers required to argue the case that FFP and the other financial rules have helped to create a cartel that is detrimental to clubs such as the Toon.

I suspect that Newcastle's owners will not be as timid, because they are far richer, as Everton's, and will go on a massive spending spree with real star players being purchased from the get-go, and that will lead to some interesting legal shenanigans in the next year or so.

Stan Schofield
29 Posted 08/10/2021 at 09:59:21
Paul, it’s interesting to compare different ownerships. There are US equity companies (main aim to make a profit), Russian oligarchs (main aim to find somewhere to store their wealth), and oil states (main aim to massage their image and influence globally), and various others.

It strikes me that of them all, the oil states, in the legalistic guise of some corporate identity supposedly separate from the ruling elite, have the most financial clout in terms of their willingness and ability to spend practically unlimited amounts of money, but small amounts compared with their overall wealth, on a football club.

In such terms, it’s become very difficult, nearly impossible, to compete with Man City. The same will probably be true, perhaps even more so, in the case of Newcastle Utd.

Relative to that wealth, the likes of US equity companies and Russian oligarchs are ‘poor billionaires’.

Peter Neilson
30 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:00:22
Michael, I'm not claiming to be in the know but the £200M is based on how the club stands at the moment. The new owners will attract naming rights and sponsorships that push up their income giving them more spending power.

If they get that right, along with recruitment and a new manager, no reason why they can't get into Champions League in a few years time. Sincerely hope not – they would make Chelsea and Man City look like saints.

Michael Lynch
31 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:14:43
Thanks Barry and Peter. My understanding is that the naming rights and sponsorship rights are tied up in the short term, so unless Saudi Arabia can justify a £200m sock sponsorship deal, they might struggle to pump in money that way for a while.

Although I despise the "sportwashing" being done by nasty fuckers from around the world, I'm also getting the popcorn out to watch the entrenched powers in Manchester and London and, indeed, on the other side of Stanley Park, squealing foul play and shitting themselves as the Saudi princes try to buy the PL trophy. Having said that, persuading the likes of Mbappe to sign for Newcastle is going to take a lot of shekels. I'm not sure if the sock sponsorship deal will cover the wages he'll demand to go up there.

Barry Hesketh
32 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:37:18
Barney Ronay, in his blog for The Guardian, gives his views on the takeover of Newcastle United and the moral dilemma it creates for the sport and its governing bodies. It seems my assessment that Newcastle would spend big and quickly are way off the mark.

It doesn't take an Icke-level conspiracy theory to see that the Premier League has become a soft power tool, that this is about reach, about using what were once community clubs as projector screens to the world. Is it really desirable, or a sensible long-term plan, to sell that capacity to whichever sovereign state happens to be passing?

For now it seems worth saying, if only as a measure of the current level of our national discourse, that the arrival of the Saudi state as owners of Newcastle United will not be greeted with protest and moral unease, but with hand-rubbing glee and gossip about prospective signings. According to those close to the action, this will be a restructure by stealth, not an instant splurge. Either way, English football has reached a particular kind of extreme here. It seems pointless to say "Be careful what you wish for" – It's already here.

NUFC Takeover

Andrew Ellams
33 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:54:10
If we'd spent better we'd be in a better position than we are now to compete with what Newcastle could be about to become.

They had their chance and they blew it. I only hope we are in a position to spend better once we straighten out the wage bill issues.

Barry Rathbone
34 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:55:10
New Geordie owners reportedly announcing they expect to be Champions in 5 to 10 years – marvelous!
Robert Tressell
35 Posted 08/10/2021 at 10:59:11
Barry, as you say, the big spending might not happen. Haaland and Mbappe and probably Kane are not just going to join Newcastle Utd in January.

They need to start with appointing a good manager (not easy – very few stand-out choices). They'll then be faced with the issue we had – paying Champions League prices for Europa League players. So it could take a little while.

However, in about 5 years they should have assumed big 3 status with Chelsea and Man City.

Next comes Man Utd, Liverpool – and then maybe us with the also-rans of Arsenal and Spurs.

Michael Lynch
36 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:01:59
That's a brilliant article, Barry. And it strikes at a deeper hypocrisy in the game – how players with their rainbow laces and feed-the-schoolchildren posturing build their vast fortunes on taking the knee to the avaricious multi-national corporations and murderous regimes that pay their wages.

And how fans march against the likes of the penny-pinching Ashley, with his zero-hour contracts, but put out the welcome mat to big-spending owners who kill dissenters and flog homosexuals.

We're all complicit.

Andrew Ellams
37 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:07:25
Barry, we – better than anybody – can tell that it's just not that simple.
Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:20:49
We are all complicit, Michael, and also the current government, if I'm to believe the rumour I was told a few months ago, about them having to backtrack with regards letting the Saudi's into English football over information regarding terrorists which the Saudi's threatened to start withdrawing?
Peter Neilson
39 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:37:05

I'd be surprised if their shirt sponsor Fun88 survives to the end of the season. As it is, the UK government is planning to ban betting firms sponsoring shirt deals.

The takeover has been rattling around for a couple of years and before that, they were interested in Man Utd. They'll probably have a plan worked out whereas ours seemed to be made up as we went along. I know best-made plans can go wrong but it's good to have one.

Don Alexander
40 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:44:45
With a bit of luck the fake-sheiks will prise the manager of the world's most highly-rated team away from Brussels to lead them to glory!

"What!?...... A manager!!???"

Shaun Robinson
41 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:45:27
Will there be a “Big 7” in a few years then? Sky will have to rewrite history again and try to kid everybody that they have always been one of the elite.
Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 08/10/2021 at 11:46:24
Without going too deep, but to Tony's point, we also have big defence export contracts with the Saudis and they are effectively our biggest political ally in the region as they are effectively engaged in proxy wars with Iran.

Appreciate this is a football website and we should keep it to that, but I agree, there are probably other political factors, trade negotiations and diplomatic games at play here.

Robert Tressell
43 Posted 08/10/2021 at 12:26:24
Shaum @36.

I don't believe there is really a Big 6 anymore. There's a stand-out Big 4. Spurs and Arsenal are nowhere.

As I reflect on this, the immediate bad news is that, if I were Newcastle's new management team, I'd be looking for who can give us instant improvement and might look at newly rich Newcastle as a step up.

Names on the list would be Digne, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

Bill Watson
44 Posted 08/10/2021 at 12:39:12
If this takeover proves anything it's that most football fans (and the EPL and EFL) couldn't give a shit about the human rights record etc of owners and just see the money.

I'm surprised the RS fans haven't started a protest petition but I'm sure if the Taliban wanted to buy them and promised loads of transfer money then they'd be all for it.

Even with unlimited transfer funds, FFP will prevent Newcastle doing an immediate Chelsea or Man City and it could take them years to become one of the 'top 6'. Their immediate concern must be to avoid relegation which I hope they don't.

Peter Neilson
45 Posted 08/10/2021 at 12:40:34
Danny I agree with that. Elements of enemy of my enemy is my friend but there’s also the fawning to oil wealth that’s been with us for decades. Even when relationships were reasonable with Iran we’d never upset the evil Saudi regime. Anyway I’ll be booing them at Goodison and St James. They have been warned!!
Nicholas Ryan
46 Posted 08/10/2021 at 12:53:43
Just seen an article, I think it was on the BBC website, which claimed that Benitez has already been approached and he simply said: 'I don't break contracts'.

Wow, if that's true, he's kissing goodbye to tens of millions... just to manage us!

Paul Hewitt
47 Posted 08/10/2021 at 12:53:51
Shaun@36 I was thinking the same thing yesterday. SSN was all over Newcastle yesterday, saying what a great club they are. They can see if they do it right Newcastle will be a force in a few years. Makes me laugh.
Don Alexander
48 Posted 08/10/2021 at 13:55:31
With a bit of luck the fake-sheiks will prise the manager of the world's most highly-rated team away from Brussels to lead them to glory!

"What!?........... A manager!!???"

Danny O’Neill
49 Posted 08/10/2021 at 15:02:17
That'll learn them Peter!!!

The comparisons are interesting. If you look at Chelsea, they were already on a upward trajectory when Abramovich took over. He chose his investment wisely in my opinion, picking a club with stadium developments already in place. On the pitch they were already making strides following their impressive progression in the mid to late 90s. Prior to him arriving their trophy haul for a club that had been playing 2nd tier football only a few years earlier was impressive:

2 x FA Cups
1 x League Cup
1 x European Cup Winner's Cup

If you want to, you can also throw in a UEFA Super Cup and Charity / Community Shield.

So basically, he didn't invest in an Everton or Newcastle. He picked something that just needed that little bit extra to push it over the line rather than build from scratch. Moshiri is building from scratch but unfortunately his project got delayed by some early poor investment and foundation building.

City. Not as well refined. But they had the stadium and were on an upward projectile, although the trophies only came after the new owners came in.

Newcastle feel a bit more Everton like although the stadium is in better shape. It's going to take a lot to turn it around on the pitch though, which is where it matters.

Brian Harrison
50 Posted 08/10/2021 at 15:51:41
Most football fans don't care about the morals of an owner. All fans care about is how much money are you going to spend? There is no doubt Saudi Arabia are probably amongst the most evil and corrupt states in the world. But the UK along with the USA will quite happily take the billions they spend with these two countries on weapons and aircraft, and not raise too much of an objection when the Crown Prince was proved to have his fingerprints all over the murder of Jamal Koshoggi.

So if governments turned a blind eye to state murder, why should Newcastle fans be asked to take the moral high ground with their new owners? The fact that Qatar have got the next World Cup and that Abu Dhabi rulers are dominating the Premier League, will not have gone unnoticed in Saudi Arabia. They realise that, with oil becoming less and less influential to the west, they need alternative revenue streams.

So they look at how Dubai have made huge sums of money out of becoming a main holiday destination, and while their rulers don't bare any moral scrutiny either, then no wonder the Saudi Royal Family see owning a Premier League club as softening their image.

I am sure their first priority is to make sure they don't get relegated this season as it's no use having their wealth if they drop out of the Premier League as their pulling power will be greatly diminished and will put back their aspirations for 12 months. So they will appoint a manager who they believe will guarantee they stay in the Premier League.

I would imagine Bruce has already managed Newcastle for the last time. Given their position at present, I couldn't see any of the big hitters going there... but, if they can stabilize their position in the Premier League, maybe the guy who does that may only be there for a few months.

Many have asked about how the FFP rules will affect them. Well, this is were Ashley, who was so prudent in running the club, they can virtually spend what they like in the first 2 years. That's another reason why being relegated would throw a massive spanner in the works.

No wonder the Geordies are excited and who wouldn't be? They did a rich list of owners in the Premier League and Mansoor was 2nd with his estimated wealth at £22.9 billion, but that's just a drop in the ocean to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, whose wealth is estimated at £302 billion.

Allen Rodgers
51 Posted 08/10/2021 at 16:32:50
As others have said, even with all the money in the world, would you want to go and live in the frozen North? You need an overcoat in summer. I think they will find it relatively hard to attract top players (and especially their wives).
Alan McGuffog
52 Posted 08/10/2021 at 16:38:35
Thing is, Allen, as I alluded to on another thread, the wedge they will pay Mbappe (say), will see him commuting by Lear jet.

Can't see him settling down in Byker somehow

Dale Self
53 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:12:42
Well, I was ready to do some self-reflecting on the dirty money quandary but then realized this is a fairly good list of early managerial candidates to dislike.

Stevie G is lurking, the affable one who dons the brown shoes, and Eddie baby, who I don't dislike but do think is a bit overrated. Rafa hanging out at 10/1 just for the record. It would be interesting to see the odds accompanied by the estimated cost of exit for each candidate.

Kieran Kinsella
54 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:24:03

I don't know. Remember that Russian team in Dagestan got Eto'o, Roberto Carlos etc then all these folks playing in Monsoon season in China. If they offer enough dosh, they'll get some talent.

Jay Wood

55 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:45:06
On the bigger question of corporate or even state ownership of football clubs, it is very hard to take a high moral stance when each and every one of us – directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly – are accomplices.

Most sign up to capitalism and consumerism which is dependent on exploiting both natural and human resources to sustain itself.

On the considerably smaller question of what this means for Newcastle Utd, they can sack Bruce now and get someone else in. But any new manager cannot radically change the squad or recruit new players until January, by which time, half the season will be completed and relegation looming large.

Even if they do spend big and recruit aggressively in January, that doesn't guarantee a second-half bounce to stave off relegation.

The investment may work out long-term, but it is 'exposed' for this season and starting in the Championship next season is a very real possibility.

On an Everton note, this has possibly scuttled any chances of Rafa recruiting Longstaff as he seemed keen to do.

Steve Shave
56 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:52:15
I feel pleased for them somehow; always liked the passion of their support and admired the Keegan team. I think above all you wouldn't wish Ashley on anyone, well maybe the Redshite ;) horrible twat.

I hope they have observed our clusterfuck of an attempt at breaking the Big 6. If I were them, I would pay very close attention, then do the opposite!!!

I would employ a football man to oversee the vision (presuming they have one, that is) a Rangick (sp?) or Monchi, pay whatever it takes. Then give them complete autonomy over transfers – no signing what owners want (à la Moshiri – Iwobi anyone?) as a golden rule, no exceptions.

I agree with some of the above comments; they may need a safer pair of hands as manager for a while, keep them in the Premier League and start putting the Director of Football's brand of footie template into practice.

Most importantly, don't make too many changes at once. Sign a few stars each window only, with a view to having the full squad in 4 years. We tried to do it too quickly with too many cooks wanting their signings in.

Simple eh? I'll take the Director of Football job thanks! I wish them well... sort of.

Jack Convery
57 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:54:21
My bet is they will go after someone like Simeone. Who can then attract big names to the big, big salaries on offer. Can only hope nobody loses their heads... oops.

Anyone with a moral compass won't touch this job. That just about leaves everyone involved in football to pick from.

James Flynn
58 Posted 08/10/2021 at 17:58:13
Money certainly counts but is never the #1 contributor to success in sports. How well-run a club is at the management level is reflected on the pitch.

Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool, with respectively unlimited, lots of, and "poor" wealth, are excellence machines.

Man Utd have cash to burn and burn it. Not really working compared to the first three.

Don't need to go into details about much of Moshiri's spending spree growing wings and flying away. Newcastle supporters will find out what we have since Moshiri's arrival.

The Saudis can get all of Toondom excited by throwing money around. If they're not well-organized, though, all the money in the world is not going to win anything.

Steve Shave
59 Posted 08/10/2021 at 18:07:26
James @58 – exactly!

The organisation is the most important ingredient, that's why a Director of Football is essential as a mainstay and he and only he can sign players.

None of this changing manager and signing who the new guy wants, then repeat. None of this owner playing fantasy football shite either.

Jack 57 – good call on Simeone, he would also apply a cautionary approach. Feeling jealous of the Toons today.

Paul Smith
60 Posted 08/10/2021 at 18:23:51
Forget the Toon, we're okay just poorly run. How much is Alisher worth?

Once the new ground is built, I wonder if we will be sold?

Kim Vivian
61 Posted 08/10/2021 at 18:34:59
It is highly unlikely that Benitez would do a "Carlo" on us. His family is established on Merseyside (imagine the local reaction), he's not short of cash and I do actually believe he has at least a vestige of honor in his bones. Would he even work for the repulsive Saudis?
Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 08/10/2021 at 18:40:00
Is the man behind the Saudi buying of Newcastle United the same person who tried to buy Liverpool before John Moores Jnr sold them to the two Americans who nearly bankrupted the club?
John Keating
63 Posted 08/10/2021 at 18:54:45
The Premier League are an embarrassment.

Newcastle could have had this investment a year or so ago but the Premier League knocked them back. Now, because the Saudis have said the State will have no involvement, the Premier League have accepted it...

Bloody joke. Nothing in Saudi moves unless the Royal Family, well now it's young Mohamed, says so.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
64 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:00:44
Given the comments here about the state of the Toon and the need to stay in the division – anyone know the prices at the Bookies for Allardyce or Pulis as their next manager?
Barry Rathbone
65 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:18:38
The bar has been irreversibly raised. Abramovich and Mansoor are small fry compared to the shark-infested potential new world of club ownership by country.

China and other unappetising governments will want a slice of the reflected glory pie for the relative buttons that Newcastle cost. No longer will an Usmanov lurking in the background suffice. Non-entities like West Brom, Charlton, Bournemouth etc will be purchased and a tenuous sporting league of countries will evolve.

As with all things in life, the higher up the food chain you go, the greater the reversion to playground rules. Bad results will not be met with "Well played, sir" but cries of corruption, mixed with racist slurs. Xenophobia will overtake rivalry leading to expulsion of foreign diplomats and trade embargoes.

Today is the first step to global conflict.

My "friend" can do a deal on "garden nuclear shelters" should anyone be interested in saving their family.

Dale Self
66 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:25:52
Carrying on from what Barry is cooking up, I can see a desperate nation in the future willing to hollow itself out to accommodate any and all despots, charlatans and/or executive dating service magnates to form a consortium and buy a Premier League club to begin their social and political rehab program. The new flag would have no symbol – just a big slot in the middle.
Robert Tressell
67 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:39:31
I'm not sure our present ownership and financing allows us to occupy the moral high ground here.

Unfortunately football got weird and nasty years ago. We're probably already part of it.

Don Alexander
68 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:42:37
Jeez Barry (#64), have you been within two metres of our histrionic Dazza in the last few days?

You post a dramatic point of view, but, thinking about it, get your mate to reserve a south-facing one for me, preferably near a pub.

Darren Hind
69 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:48:06

You may have to dumb down a little for Don.

Just throw him a bone. Blame John Ebbrell or Bainsey for ruining the club.

Don Alexander
70 Posted 08/10/2021 at 19:57:29

Ian Burns
71 Posted 08/10/2021 at 21:04:08
There is another way of looking at this investment – with apologies to those who believe an investment such as this is a no-no on humanitarian grounds.

They have at least invested in the Premier League as against the other top European leagues. It continuously shows the Premier League to be the best league in the world, offering up marketing opportunities that maybe one day will dawn on the powers that be in EFC to get off their arses and finally wake up to the sort of deals which reduce the stranglehold FFP has over this club.

Jealous of NUFC – dead right I am – with genuine heartfelt apologies to Mr Koshigi's family.

Dale Self
72 Posted 08/10/2021 at 21:07:31
Well we may not be clean but at least the other 19 clubs did not protest our sale as they are here. We have the right man for the job dealing with the club leaders though, Dick Masters.

I'm thinking there may be a bit of a grey area here and if the barcodes hire Stevie G that should clear enough space to hate them with smug superiority.

Stan Schofield
73 Posted 08/10/2021 at 22:25:30
Barry @65:

All of that is usually called ‘History', or the parts they don't teach at school.

Stan Schofield
74 Posted 08/10/2021 at 23:02:05
James @58: What?! Man Utd have won the Premier League 13 times compared to Liverpool's once!! The Premier League has been dominated by Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea. Newcastle will probably make it a dominant quartet in the near future.
Kevin Prytherch
75 Posted 08/10/2021 at 23:28:38
Newcastle will have the same obstacles we have. Spend big, fall foul of FFP, reign it in.
Paul Smith
76 Posted 08/10/2021 at 00:01:42
Barry @65,

It will only stop when there is a risk to national security – China.

The Toon deal was concluded quickly to evade the fan-led review coming down the line and Bojo didn't want to upset his red wall voters. It might be that Newcastle may be the last club to become mega-rich and may rule the roost for some time to come. Keegan's rant may have more relevance in the future than it ever did at the time… the man's an oracle.

Bill Gall
77 Posted 09/10/2021 at 00:32:19
I wonder what the Sky darlings will promote to stop Newcastle disturbing their comfy income? Pity it reads as the new owners could buy any of the Top 6 clubs with no problem.

The major problem with this buying of clubs was not investigated in 2003 when Abramovich bought Chelsea and splashed the cash around to buy the league title and other trophies. It took the takeover of Man City in 2010 before the rest of the Premier League started to get worried about these rich clubs with wealthy backers and the call for new regulations.

Finacial Fair Play (FFP) was the start that was overcome by lawyers until the laws were stiffened until it became harder for clubs who later on got wealthy backers to have the same advantages as Chelsea and Man City had.

Supporters who are more knowledgeable about world soccer could most probably name 40 or 50 world-class players but you can only play 11 on a team… and then they have to be compatible with the club the manager and the players to succeed – no matter how much money you have.

Congratulations to Newcastle: you have made your supporters happy and other clubs green with envy. But, with this financial backing, do not expect miracles – they only happen in fairy tales. And the Sky darlings are the wicked stepmothers.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 09/10/2021 at 03:02:27
When compared to Newcastle's takeover, the Everton takeover was a non-event. Straight away, there are changes of key positions in the management at board and executive level of the club, with a commercial review. Which I bet would not be as laughable as such a review at Everton, since Ashley knew how to run a commercial operation.

The expected new largesse is already being talked about as being introduced to improve all levels within the Club, by stealth. No bunch of amateurs will be waiting to spend it, as what happened at Everton.

Anyway, there appears to be a knowledge of FFP rules, which seemed to have been totally absent at Everton.

Benitez will be staying. He did not buy a house in Newcastle and has family connections in Liverpool, which seem to have been important in his willingness to take on the Everton role despite widespread opposition.

Si Cooper
79 Posted 09/10/2021 at 04:34:43
I for one find nothing to celebrate in this takeover. If all the criticism of the Saudi backers is true, I hope this enterprise fails dismally and spectacularly quickly.

I know and like a few Toon fans but must admit to finding the whole “best supporters in the world” thing a little vomit-inducing. Many of them appear to be rather simplistic fanatics to me, with no meaningful competition from other football clubs or sports to channel their obsession into, and I'm pretty sure many loveable Geordies will transmute into just another bunch of arrogant pricks if their club does become the next silverware swallowing behemoth.

Governments may have to ‘deal' with the Saudi regime but it doesn't mean the basic football fan can't call a spade a spade. I know there is little ‘clean' money in football but there has to be some level where people say enough is enough.

I'm not sure why some posters think the new owners of NUFC will be happy to be dispassionate bystanders; actively co-ordinating the barbaric killing of a dissenting journalist doesn't match up to ‘leave it all to the DoF' in my opinion.

There is a whiff of envy of the sheer magnitude of their wealth in some of the criticism of Farhad Moshiri, such as he didn't understand FFP. The guy rolled the dice on trying to bridge the gap quickly and it didn't work out because team building is often something of a gamble. Because of FFP, we now have to regroup before we can go again. That doesn't mean the attempt was wrong, just that certain elements failed.

Steve Brown
80 Posted 09/10/2021 at 05:40:56
Just waiting for Kim Jong Un to buy Liverpool.

Jerome Shields
81 Posted 09/10/2021 at 06:20:53
Si #79,

I think you have done a good job of outlining the failings of such takeovers.

''I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love!"

Steve Shave
82 Posted 09/10/2021 at 06:45:56
Steve @80 – that post made me spit out my coffee! ;)
Danny O’Neill
83 Posted 09/10/2021 at 07:08:52
Steve Brown, I echo Steve Shane's reaction to your comment. Short but impactful!!!

Thing is, that lot would have North Korean flags and a banner of adoration making its way over the Kop in no time!!

Colin Glassar
84 Posted 09/10/2021 at 07:39:23
So Spurs are leading the fight back to stop the Saudi takeover? Oh the hypocrisy. I love watching the Sky cartel now squirming over the new boy on the block breaking into, and smashing, their little private club.

I know this pushes us further down the pecking order but this is the monster we created so we have to live with it and hope Usmanov will eventually come in to rescue us from further oblivion.

We have now moved from corporate-owned football to state-owned football. Maybe Canada will buy us. Probably Papua New Guinea knowing us.

Robert Tressell
85 Posted 09/10/2021 at 08:46:51
Although there have been a few false dawns, us included, whenever wealth at this level gets involved – it works. PSG, Man City and Chelsea are now football royalty.

Newcastle might now appoint, say, Rodgers as manager and assemble a really good squad pretty quickly. Players like Zaha, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Digne, Raphinha, Phillips, Watkins, Neto, Traore, Neves, Coady and Pope – along with a not quite top tier selection of foreigners like Isak and Vlahovic.

They might even fork out for Salah next summer given his age and contract position.

From there, the next appointment would be the likes of Klopp and Simeone and purchases like Haaland.

Along with Spurs and Arsenal, we're already nowhere. The clubs this really threatens are Liverpool and Man Utd.

Paul Hewitt
86 Posted 09/10/2021 at 09:13:07
Am I the only one getting bored of this takeover now? I have nothing against Newcastle or its fans, they had to put up with Ashley for years, so good luck to them. But if anyone thinks they are suddenly going to become a Top 4 side, are wide of the mark. They will be lucky to stay in the league with their current squad.

I'm sure they will spend big in January, but they certainly won't be signing any superstars. I would say Newcastle have 2 seasons to spend big before FFP starts to affect them. So, if they ain't challenging by then, they probably never will.

Ray Roche
87 Posted 09/10/2021 at 09:30:48
I'd be astonished if the likes of Kane, M'bappe, Simeone etc turn up at Newcastle. They can get enough money at big and already successful clubs. Newcastle need to avoid relegation first but they should be able to hold onto Saint-Maximin.

How long before we see the usual raft of bellends in brand new Newcastle shirts wandering towards Aldi?

Stan Schofield
88 Posted 09/10/2021 at 09:54:44
Reds I know are very quiet about this takeover, despite my prompting them on certain matters. That's quite amusing.

Also amusing will be watching how the media handle it in relation to the bias they've shown towards the likes of the so-called Top 6 who are no longer the Top 6.

Newcastle Utd, 2nd from bottom in the Premier League and fairly shite, are now the wealthiest club around. Money talks, and the details of the talk will be interesting and probably entertaining.

Daniel A Johnson
89 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:08:25
Get ready for the hypocrisy of Sky TV and the rest of the TV channels.

Newcastle often the source of amusement and ridicule, daft geordeees and hairy women, portrayed as a laughable shite football club with Mike Ashley downing pints etc.

Newcastle will now be on all the main news articles and they will be placed on a pedestal whilst the TV companies big them up and suck up to them and sponsorship deals fall at their feet. Just watch it happen.

On a side note, I'm pleased for them. A genuinely big football club that has suffered for decades. Let's see if the star names want to live in the North-East and live it up down the Bigg Market.

Stan Schofield
90 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:25:47
Daniel, I'm also pleased for them. Not only have they now got big hopes, and expectations to go with those hopes, the investment will be good for Tyneside. Against a background where UK governments have done little for them but just talked their political shite about ‘levelling up' and other such drivel.

I hope they take the football world by storm, because the whole system, including supporters, has bought into the big money basis of elite football, so let them have a massive piece of the action.

Anthony Jones
91 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:40:08
Surely this means that they can rival PSG over the long term? Not good for the competitiveness of the Premier League.

Having said that, Manchester City are obscenely rich, and Abramovich has no doubt had people "taken out".

Once you open clubs up to the global free market, this is what you get. The club governance review hasn't been completed in time. I would have liked to see more fan ownership.

Alan McGuffog
92 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:43:50
For decades, the West has made billions selling arms to Saudi. Our banks have laundered their loot. Our authorities turn a blind eye to members of the House of Saud using Kensington as a playground, literally. We ignore the oppression of minorities and the exploitation of workers from South Asia.

But some now expect ordinary football fans, offered the chance of something to cheer, to take the moral high ground and oppose this takeover? Rum do.

Jerome Shields
93 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:46:48
Will a fan wave a makeshift flag with 'Newcastle are Rich' in some vain hope that they will join the Megabuck Elite – as was done at Everton's top tier? Naturally a first reaction is to compare this with Everton's rather botched takeover, which left more than a few villains in place.

The Newcastle fanbase is not just Geordie, it's Yorkshire heading North and probably sceptical as well, muck and all that. Will 'Pall Mall' Staveley become the new villain of the Dark North, replacing Ashley? What does the Megabuck Elite passport get you?

A 'Return to Sender' superstar who thinks he is the manager.

A manager, one forward short, who appeals to fans to attend home matches.

Fans protesting on the streets of Liverpool and disgusted by their team's leadership in the European Super League debacle.

An owner who just got a visa to watch his team, though the manager wishes he hadn't, just in case he jinxes progress.

Does Everton really want to be part of this Megabuck Elite? When a measly £1.7 million spent in the last transfer window by a good football manager gets better players and a team built on effort and hard work? Even attracting admiring newspaper headlines saying we're getting it right for a change.

The traditional Everton image still intact, Everton didn't get poser fans – the suffering putting them off, and the Geordies won't want them either. One Tony Blair is more than enough. (I hope Ester McVey supports the other side…) Who needs a superstar anyway? They can bugger off to Doha.

Benitez thinks so, taking a job within walking distance of his family home. He is close to achieving this objective, the danger of getting mugged fading. So maybe it is true…

All together now:

“All you need is love,
All you need is love,
Love is all you need.”

Brian Harrison
94 Posted 09/10/2021 at 10:56:40
Alan @92,

I said pretty much the same in my post earlier, why should Newcastle fans have to be the moral guardians when most Western governments quite happily deal with the murdering House of Saud?

The 9/11 atrocities were carried out by 19 terrorists of whom 15 were Saudi nationals, yet the USA and GB were quite happy to carry on dealing with them. Despite the Crown Prince having Jamal Koshoggi dismembered in the Saudi Embassy and using diplomatic immunity to fly his dismembered body back to Saudi.

But, because with their oil wealth, they buy arms and fighter jets from us and the USA worth billions a year, and we turn a blind eye to them, so it's no surprise to see the House of Saud deciding to follow their neighbours from Abu Dhabi and Qatar and try and soften their image by buying into the Premier League.

Stan Schofield
95 Posted 09/10/2021 at 11:07:31
Jerome @93:

The Geordies might not want poser fans but, if Newcastle Utd are successful, they'll get them in droves.

We've done well with Gray and Townsend but don't get carried away. Big money buys success. It was the basis of Everton's success in the '60s when we had our greatest ever teams. It still is the key to success in terms of trophies and profile, and poser supporters.

Robert Tressell
96 Posted 09/10/2021 at 11:10:34
Ray #87. I'd also be amazed if Mbappe etc turn up at Newcastle in the next 3 years or so. However, after that, it would be strange if one of the world's top 3 or 4 richest clubs wasn't home to some very special players.

Unfortunately Moshiri, as billionaires go, is not in this league.

Danny O’Neill
97 Posted 09/10/2021 at 11:23:25
Not so sure about that Daniel (being pleased for them).

It's not jealousy, I have some very good friends who are dedicated Newcastle fans and been through far worse than we've endured. I'm pleased for them as individuals.

But I remember the first Sky coming of Newcastle. It was all a bit over-the-top back then. Yes, they played some exciting stuff and challenged for a few years, as did Leeds. But the way Sky and the pundits particularly fawned over Newcastle and their fans was especially nauseating.

I used to rib my mates about them comparing themselves to Manchester United before they'd actually even won anything and being the self-declared best and most passionate fans in the land.

As a collective, I would compare them to Liverpool, only more juvenile, which is saying something. You can't reason with them, they're different, no-one else compares, no-one else is as passionate, biggest club, 50,000 a week etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. I suppose it's an aspect of being a one-city club, but it's pretty irritating.

So, for my mates, good luck. But stand by for the latest Sky love-in. I hope Liverpool won't feel too jilted once Sky tell them they've got a new girlfriend and they're binned.

Stan Schofield
98 Posted 09/10/2021 at 11:44:18
Danny, brilliant last sentence mate!
Jim Lloyd
99 Posted 09/10/2021 at 11:54:04
A couple of points that I've been thinking about.

First, the political issues raised by some posters already are important; but there isn't much an ordinary football supporter could do, other than take the moral high ground and stay away – unless each club was run by some virginal maiden (or feller!) without a stain on his or her character.

Nearly every successful club has usually had money backing it. If it hasn't come from oil sheikhs, it's come from people, groups who have made their money from capitalising on others, one way or another. John Moores made most of his wealth through commercial and betting activities, most notably Littlewoods Pools.

I was lucky enough to see our great sides of the sixties, which we wouldn't have attracted without his money, whereas a generation before that Sunderland had loads of money but got relegated!

The political issues raised because of this Newcastle takeover are an easy target for criticism of Western Governments; but I don't think all the ingredients have been mentioned.

As for the Gulf states, they are extremely powerful economically and politically a) because of oil that we all want, and b) because there is an axis in the Middle east now, that is being encouraged by Russia to oppose the Saudi-led long-standing support of the West and its need for oil and gas. So the west wants to ensure those states are able to keep producing and selling their natural resources to us.

Some posters have criticised our own Government position (and with it) every administration since the war, because we sell arms to the Gulf states. Well, there's tens of thousands of British jobs involved in the Defence industry and France, Russia and America would be pleased as punch to see any British Government come along and say "No more arms to these authoritarian regimes." They'd just step right up and supply even more of their own.

We saw the panic set in when Iraq decided to invade and the price of oil shot up.

So, I don't think ordinary supporters anywhere have much influence on the running of these clubs. The Premier League is culpable of this by the rules it has set in place by drawing up the ladder to success with their profit and sustainability rules which effectively tie the hands of clubs like ours. It's the clubs' fault though, I think, for letting throe Premier League become a separate entity from the clubs.

As for us and how this takeover might effect us, well I think we are lucky. We've got a good manager (and I wish we'd have got him years ago); if we can keep him, we have plenty of funds once the profit and sustainability rules have been overcome, to fund good players into our club.

I think that the stadium is obviously a massive step forward and will bring in commercial deals that begin to give us much more freedom in the transfer market. Some say that Moshiri is a "poor billionaire" – well, I've never met a poor rich man yet… and his mate Usmanov is as rich as Abramovich and Chelsea haven't done too badly up to now.

So, rather than castigate the billionaires, and there are moral questions, but we either stay away from the filthy lucre or we support our club and remember the alternative.

I hope (Number One) that we can keep hold of Rafa Benitez and (Number Two) we have Moshiri and Usmanov backing us. Then I don't care how rich other clubs are. We will have a good manager and and a lot of money backing him. We've got a hard time financially for now; but not for long!

Phil Gardner
100 Posted 09/10/2021 at 12:46:11
Great post, Danny (97).

I lived up there for 4 years, talk about a deluded bunch. I remember being asked a few years back by one of them who I supported... he replied ‘Everton? I've never thought of them as any real threat!'

He got quite irate when I asked him how many times he'd watched the league championship (1st division of course!) trophy paraded around his home ground in his lifetime (four for me)? It didn't go down when I informed the gathering of Coalyokels that the last time they won the league the Jarrow marchers were in primary school.

Big club, my arse… and as for their ‘50k fans'… if both Liverpool and Manchester clubs had one team in their cities, they could easily fill a 90k+ stadium.

I can't abide them and, since living there, I always look and pray that they lose and/or go down. Tossers.

Derek Knox
101 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:06:06
Jim @ 99, interesting read mate, but I heard that these Saudis had made their fortunes through milk!

Don't tell me you have never heard of 'Milk Sheikhs' !

Which way is the cloakroom? I'll get me coat. :-)

Stan Schofield
102 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:17:18
Harry Enfield's ‘Bugger-all money' will now need to morph to a Geordie version of ‘Loads-a money', and a Toon version of ‘We're considerably richer than yow!'
Peter Neilson
103 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:17:33
While this takeover has been taking place, UEFA has been considering adapting FFP rules. It wants the new rules to focus on high levels of spending on wages and transfers and it is considering introducing a salary cap and a luxury tax on transfers.

Abolishes the break-even rule but you can only spend 70% of revenue on transfers. But this might only apply to named squads for European competition. Meaning state-owned clubs could build a different squad for the domestic league.

A salary cap based on the squad but no details on how this will be worked out (if on revenue, then another foot on the neck of most clubs).

A luxury tax on those breaking the rules shared with other clubs. Again no details but can't imagine Man City, PSG, or Newcastle owners being concerned.

Obviously these changes will only apply to European competition. At the moment, it looks like a rule book drawn up by state-owned clubs. They are looking to agree and finalise it by the end of the year.

Stan Schofield
104 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:23:14
Peter, sounds very reasonable - if you’re City, PSG or Newcastle.
Barry Hesketh
105 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:24:14
I have to agree with Danny and Phil, the fans at Newcastle are a similar bunch to the neighbour's fans, well most of them are at any rate. A Black and White version of the Reds, but without the trophies to boast about.

192,7 when Dixie was in his pomp, was the last time they landed the league title, the FA Cup back in the 1950s (1955?) and a Fairs Cup win in 1969 when they finished 110th in the league and 11 points – 2 points for a win in those days – behind Everton to qualify for it in 1968. Everton missed out on Europe, due to that ridiculous one city, one club rule, which in hindsight, was the beginnings of the elitism that has affected the game ever since.

As for Levy's Spurs and the rest of the clubs moaning about the deal, not for any humanitarian reasons or other such noble ideas, but because it might have a negative impact on their own club's business model.

What gives them any right to decide which club can be funded and by whom? Why do they feel that they have a right to curtail competition, because they were lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time?

I hope Usmanov is a serious player in Everton's affairs because, if he isn't and Moshiri tries to sell on the club in the future, you can bet that the usual suspects will have altered the rules, yet again, to preserve their self-entitled place at the top table.

Stan Schofield
106 Posted 09/10/2021 at 13:30:55
Barry, Spurs can moan all they want, but it’s futile.
Robert Tressell
107 Posted 09/10/2021 at 14:14:30
Peter @103. Different squad for Europe? That effectively introduces the Super League. The very richest clubs will field a B team in the Premier League and an A team to contest the big prizes with Barcelona and Real etc.
Ron Sear
108 Posted 09/10/2021 at 14:34:21
Quite looking forward to them being relegated; it'll be interesting watching them attracting world-class and Premier League players to the Championship.
Jim Lloyd
109 Posted 09/10/2021 at 14:41:04
Barry (105) I agree and it was a great point you made about the one club from one city. That was the beginning of an "elite" forming; and the Slimy Six are having nervous convulsions of the bowel because of what this takeover might mean to them.

Agree with you about this Oligarchy of our own with this bunch feeling that what they say goes and the rest of the clubs can get the crumbs off the table... if they ask nicely.

I'd love to see the Constitution and the rule book of the Premier League because that organisation should be owned by the clubs of the Premier League; but it seems to be making the rules that it wants to make. If there is any chance to change this road that the clubs are having to travel, it is only by the majority of Premier League clubs taking decisions, not the little oligarchy we're stuck with.

Unless something drastic happens (and knowing our luck, it always can) Mr Usmanov will want a major part of the investment in the whole of the North end docks, including EFC.

Probably the Premier League will come out one day with a rule that no Dockside clubs can take part in European competitions, if they're in the North-West that is!

Si Cooper
110 Posted 09/10/2021 at 14:51:53
Nobody expects the Toon Army to be actively repelling this investment, but I suspect many people will feel some disquiet over its associations, which are supposed to be more extreme than any other owner as far as I am aware. For instance, I am not aware that any others may have had people murdered just for speaking out against them.

Governments have to ‘deal' with many despots and dictators to gain influence, to keep economies going, etc. Not sure football clubs and their supporters fall into quite the same category unless we are all following the same unfettered capitalist ideology and the ends always justify the means.

I believe in life there are many shades of grey but eventually you get to something that is clearly black (like the notion of a 12-team European Super League?) and you reject it, and I don't find that wholly hypocritical.

Jim Lloyd
111 Posted 09/10/2021 at 15:19:29
Football clubs are businesses and, within the rules (which seem to be bent as Nine-bob notes) of the Premier League, they are the playthings of the owners. I assume Mike Ashley was rubbing his hands with glee when this went through, so it obviously hasn't bothered him.

As for the supporters, some will have reservations and it will be interesting to read what the Newcastle fan sites are saying. My guess is that there won't be many staying away. Hope I'm wrong.

Jim Lloyd
112 Posted 09/10/2021 at 15:57:24
Derek (101)

:) Heehee! I think they made their fortune from Camel's milk, but the Camels... got the! Ump! And your post suggests you've had a couple of pints of Abbot and are floating along the Milky Way… :)

Ed Prytherch
113 Posted 09/10/2021 at 16:05:39

Abramovich is close to Putin who also has his enemies murdered. They and the Saudis are both obnoxious.

Jim Lloyd
114 Posted 09/10/2021 at 17:37:35
Anyone wishes to see what the average supporter thinks of this takeover, just have a look at their fanzines, The Mag and True Faith. They are absolutely exstatic about getting rid of Ashley and becoming the richest club in the world. The St James Park MP lauds it as well. So there you have it. I can't blame them for being happy either.

Events they have no control over have happened, probably without their knowledge and certainly without any say-so in this deal.

As one fan has said in the fanzine, "Events out of our control have got rid of Mike Ashley and whoever owns it we have no control over. All we can do is turn up and support the club and the team."

Peter Neilson
115 Posted 09/10/2021 at 19:06:21
Robert (@107), That's the proposal as it stands with the limits placed only against the named European squads. Clubs able to do what they want domestically just governed by their own leagues' rules. Bayern Munich leading the charge against this.

The introduction of a salary cap would be illegal under EU regs, hence the “luxury tax”. How this would apply to countries outside the EU, I don't know. Maybe they just have to sign up to UEFA rules.

They are looking to phase this in next year. Much to be worked through but I can't imagine it will allow any upward mobility for clubs not already in the European elite.

Andy Crooks
116 Posted 09/10/2021 at 19:20:07
There's not much to like about the morality of Premier League football. None of it bears much scrutiny and we get what we want from it, supporting an idea of Everton that is built on history, community, friendship, togetherness, against adversity and the hope that the players care. We don't really count, except to one another.

Newcastle United being relegated would give me more pleasure than I can say. I would love it.

Colin Glassar
117 Posted 09/10/2021 at 19:34:16
If Amanda Staveley wants a real football Jimminy Cricket whispering in her ear about how a proper football club should be run, can we send her our very own Chairman Bill to advise her? Non-returnable of course.
Jim Lloyd
118 Posted 09/10/2021 at 20:10:26
Andy, well said.

Colin, the Saudis would give much gold for his words of power!

Jim Lloyd
119 Posted 09/10/2021 at 20:12:43
Ooops, sorry, I meant Fool's Gold!
Gary Smith
120 Posted 09/10/2021 at 20:13:52
The only “legally binding assurance” was that the Saudis would stop the free streaming in the Middle East (and ergo have effect on it elsewhere).

Anyone who thinks differently is likely naive. Billions more in TV revenue.

An illegal move in any interpretation of the bribery and corruption Act in any other business… but hey ho, when there's billions involved a slight blag about “no control” will suffice.

I wish Newcastle well. I'm all for open investment by rich owners wanting to spend… but – even before any “fit and proper” test – this stinks. Modern western capitalism at its dirtiest.

Peter Neilson
121 Posted 09/10/2021 at 20:31:21
It would be funny if they were relegated but I don't think they'll be worried facing the EFL Fit and Proper Person Test. "Do you have dosh, or at least appear to?" – That is the basic requirement.

Regards to Bury, Blackburn, Blackpool, Forest, Derby, Coventry, Charlton etc. The administrators of the game sold their soul years ago.

Si Cooper
122 Posted 09/10/2021 at 20:43:05
Ed (113),

I realise Putin rose on the same tide as many of the oligarchs but I'd be surprised if you could charge Abramovich with exactly the same crimes as Putin.

It's about where you draw the line, isn't it?

Jerome Shields
123 Posted 09/10/2021 at 21:04:24
Stan #95,

What it did at Everton was to expose incompetence, mainly because Everton's takeover was a reverse takeover. In other words, the ones that made it necessary to sell were left in place and continued the incompetence under the new ownership.

If a club is incompetently run, all the money in the world will make no difference. Ashley had the ability to run Newcastle competently, so there must be some other reason why they were not successful.

The FFP rules will put the brakes on such incompetence, as they have done at Everton. The FFP rules are to save clubs from themselves.

Having gone through this process, Everton have no choice but to begin to address these issues, because money cannot be spent. In some ways, Benitez is the ideal manager for this job, because he went through similar though different problems at Newcastle.

For either Everton or Newcastle, money is not going to buy success; it will be only good management throughout the club. It follows that good management and good allocation of resources go hand-in-hand. At Everton, incompetent management squandered resources.

Benitez needs all the backing and love he can get from the supporters, because he is not going to have money, and because incompetence is still present at Everton. It's going to be an enormous task to turn Newcastle around, even with money; more importantly, they need a good manager they can love.

So money is no guarantee of success. It has been the incompetence of other clubs rather than the money that has contributed to trophy successes of the elite clubs.

I agree that poser fans follow success.

Barry Hesketh
124 Posted 09/10/2021 at 21:28:56
Jerome @123,

Money may not buy you success but it certainly helps to sustain success once it's been achieved; how many English clubs could truly afford to buy Grealish, Kane, et al?

If any club isn't in the position to buy the best players, either due to a lack of cash or because of the financial rules – that only seem to benefit those who have already had success – it won't have success on a regular basis.

I've no doubt that Everton has been mismanaged in the last few years, for a number of reasons, but that's the way it goes sometimes, and we can only hope better decisions are made in the future.

Is it merely a coincidence that Norwich City, one of the poorer, if not the poorest clubs in relation to the wealth of its owners, are struggling in the Premier League?

Peter Neilson
125 Posted 09/10/2021 at 21:54:00
The richest clubs dominate trophies. Without the money, you don't get the players and staff. Of course, you need a plan but, without the cash, you usually win nothing. Leicester was a Black Swan event with the turmoil at the usual contenders. Brentford are a very well run club but they won't win the Premier League as they can't afford the players.

We shouldn't underestimate the size of the Newcastle backing. The takeover itself (£300M) accounts for less than 0.1% of the value of their owners. I imagine, like Man City, within 3-4 years, they will be challenging for the Premier League as long as they get their recruitment right (as City did). While money is no guarantee of success, without it you're pretty much guaranteed to have none.

Jerome Shields
126 Posted 09/10/2021 at 22:29:04
Barry #124,

I was just putting the opposing argument, supported by the failure of other clubs to challenge. The blame being theirs. But, as you say, a well-managed club makes better use of resources and will make better use of resources when made available.

I think my scepticism comes from years of being told that Everton where punching above their weight in mid-table and all they needed was money. We all now know the answer to that, ironically causing Everton now to have limited resources due to FFP rules.

Everton in recent years have had amongst the highest wages percentages in the Premier League, spent amongst the highest amount on transfers, and had amongst the highest-paid managers in the Premier League. They were going to pay £80 million for Zaha. I live in fear of finding out what some of the Finch Farm staff are on in comparison to other clubs. . .

Stan Schofield
127 Posted 09/10/2021 at 22:48:43
Jerome, yes, we've had money, but not enough to buy top players and retain our best in their prime. We no doubt could have made better use of the money, but it's unlikely we could ever really have competed with the likes of Man City and Chelsea. You need mega money for that.
Jerome Shields
128 Posted 09/10/2021 at 23:21:24
Stan #127,

See where you are coming from. Players want success. The teams with the better players that are successful and get the most money are teams they want to play for.

Alan J Thompson
130 Posted 10/10/2021 at 06:50:19
Let them in, let them all in to spend all the money in the world without any financial regulations or limitations as the only way to end this farce is for somebody to go belly up in the middle of a season and maybe the amended results, league positions and failed contracts of unemployed players will see a voluntary responsibility imposed, well, temporarily, if at all for the very monied.

Won't help the likes of Bury though... in the same way that any numbers of deaths from Covid-19 doesn't dissuade anti-vaxxers. (As an aside, I'm old enough to remember them being called 'inoculations'.)

Jim Lloyd
131 Posted 10/10/2021 at 08:02:04
Looking at Everton and the last 5 years or so, it's a shame really, as Farhad Moshiri had plenty of money to begin to build a successful team. I think he was (and still is) willing to spend money to do so.

For me though, it was unfortunate that his choice of a manager at the very beginning put a spanner in the works, and then the subsequent not-so-magic merry-go-round of managers that followed.

Money was splashed around in a desperate bid to catch up with the leading clubs and I think (easy to say) the majority of it was wasted on a poor choice of first manager and a king's ransom blown on underperforming players.

I think it was a poor choice to pick Koeman. He (Mr Moshiri) wanted to have a name that would stand equal to the managers of the Manchester clubs and Everton Athletic! Well, he got a big name and the feller was a great footballer but a poor choice of manager. All the way through to bringing in Sam Allardyce to ensure we didn't go down, and the players we bought during his reign and the last manager's recruitment.

Man City got the best manager that they could and, even then, went through several top managers until they got their current one. They were certainly wiser in their choice of manager and the players purchased.

Luckily, in my opinion, while we were in the mire, we in desperation turned to Rafa Benitez. The best manager by far, of the lot that have been installed since 2016 (or was it 15?) and one of the best managers in the Premier League.

The Premier League is being run by a clique and they represented the so-called aristocrats of the league and have let the rest of the clubs go to the devil. I heard the feller who is their so-called top man telling the reporter he knew nothing about the deal to purchase Newcastle.

It as though the Gods were angry as, over his shoulder, the sky went darker and darker. It looked very foreboding, until I saw it was a squadron of flying pigs emitting methane gas by the bucket-load!

Danny O’Neill
132 Posted 10/10/2021 at 08:02:26
For me, and, within reason, for most clubs (if not all), it's about how you spend, not what you spend. To reiterate, within reason. I hate to keep using them as an example, but our cousins eventually got there after a few terrible splurges.

The Chelsea and Man City things didn't happen overnight. I'll use a phrase I've coined previously, they took a stepping stone approach to get there. Both with manager and players. I'd say City hopped across those stones quicker as many forget that Chelsea's "project" (hate that term) really started in the mid-90s.

Everton had the money and tried to go quickly. We just spent badly in hindsight. But, we still have the money, just can't spend it for now. As mentioned earlier, get through this, stay in the game, dust ourselves down and go into Round 2 with lessons learned ready for Bramley-Moore Dock.

Jerome Shields
133 Posted 10/10/2021 at 08:28:40
Jim #13,

If someone had have been able to read Spanish newspapers, they would have been able to predict the whole run and had a template of how Koeman's tenure would unfold at Everton. It shows you how bad things are at Barca. I take it they can read Spanish newpapers.

I agree the Premier League is being run by a clique and rich clubs are able to manipulate in their favour. But the European Super League debacle throws up, that maybe this is not enough, as these rich clubs seemed to need further assurances. They seem to see the emergence of reasonably assembled teams, that were challenging their dominance, as a serious threat. This is the way to go for Everton.

Jim Lloyd
134 Posted 10/10/2021 at 08:57:16
Absolutely, Jerome. I thought that if we'd gone for the previous manager, Pottechino, that might have been better, but definitely a better manager than Koeman.

Indeed, I agree with you that the Super League hasn't gone away. The Slimy Six (or maybe Seven, soon) are still working on how to keep themselves at the top (though to include Spurs and possibly Arsenal in that group is not going on current performance).

You're right, I think they want to ensure that, if they have anything to do with the future of football, they remain at the top. The pathetically weak response from the Premier League just shows us which camp they belong to. The only way to stop this is for the whole of the Premier League clubs to call in the administration and review and change the constitution of the organisation.

PS, Just what are/were the Spanish papers saying, do you know. Looks like he's on notice at Barcelona!

Ian Burns
135 Posted 10/10/2021 at 09:59:08
Jim 134 - Koeman is safe for now because everybody in Barcelona knows it is the lack of finance to pay off his contract which is keeping him in a job. He is helped ironically by Real Madrid's failure to make the most of Barca's struggles and we all know who is responsible for that debacle.

Koeman's excuse is he is having to rely on the kids (another irony) to keep the club competitive but the big news in Barca is the situation at Newcastle. Noses up against the window syndrome.

Strange times.

Danny O’Neill
136 Posted 10/10/2021 at 11:37:48
It's all gossip, but glancing at the BBC Gossip page, it would appear to be a case of a quiet revolution and upping their game for Newcastle.

Graham Potter "in the frame", Langar, a Burnley defender and potentially Koulibaly.

If they get Koulibaly I'll be disappointed we didn't or couldn't.

Jerome Shields
137 Posted 10/10/2021 at 13:56:10
Jim #134,

Similar pattern to Valencia and Everton.

Intial Barcelona savour, poor results, dressing-room discontent, not the public humiliation of players (not advisable at Barca), but big names going, Suarez's gesture to the dug-out after scoring, public fallout with the President.

Usual "be patient" progress crap and defiance, strange last transfer window, parallels being drawn with previous appointments and, as Ian #135 says, a contract which could supplement his wages at his next destination, once Barca inevitably pull the trigger.

An Evertonian visiting Barcelona would find an instant affinity with Barca fans and might be invited home for tea. Hope it doesn't take as long to recover once he is gone. The soon the better, IMO, for Barcelona's sake.

Jim Lloyd
138 Posted 10/10/2021 at 14:42:31
Thanks, Jerome, for the info. I thought it might read something similar regarding Koeman. I don't blame Mr Moshiri for making that decision, he wanted a big name and had his fingers burnt. I think we should have an affinity with Barcelona, they seem a nice bolshie lot, like us.

I think we're going along the right path now. Rafa's first two outfield transfers were an absolute masterpiece. I've never seen us attack so much and so many supporting the attack for years, let alone the shots we're taking! Great stuff.

Jerome Shields
139 Posted 10/10/2021 at 23:34:36
Yes, Jim,

Everton are at last looking like Everton should. I know it is early days, but hands-on Rafa is generating the feeling of momentum. Great stuff, as you say. Maybe Everton might at least add some discomfort to the attempt at forming a football cartel. As you say, it is being reformulated for future consideration.

Jerome Shields
140 Posted 10/10/2021 at 23:57:50
It has been reported that Newcastle are going to raid Man Utd for four players. Man U are becoming really bare-faced in trying their usual trick of off-loading their rubbish when they smell a fool with money.
Barry Hesketh
141 Posted 13/10/2021 at 14:42:00
Insiders have said that United, Spurs and Everton were the most vocal on the call, with a belief among others that their anger centred around the prospect of increased competition for Champions League places.

Not all vented fury - there was even humour among some of the smaller clubs - with the Big Six's aborted Super League breakaway still fresh in memories.

Who are the insiders Jurgen Klopp and FSG? I can understand Everton being upset, but I would hope not for the same reasons that Man U and Spurs are. Funny how the Mail often cites Everton when it does something against the popular will but overlooks it when it does something of merit. United have Saudi sponsors, don't they? So I would think they and Spurs are annoyed from the financial aspect, surely our neighbours also had a view too ?

Angry Everton

There should be many questions raised as to why the Premier League have acted the way they did and when they did, directly following the Tory party conference and at the start of an International week, releasing unpalatable news at particular points in time is becoming the norm for every institution on the planet, but no doubt lessons will be learned.

Michael Kenrick
142 Posted 13/10/2021 at 15:18:56
I could understand it if the clubs were complaining about the Profit and Sustainability rules that are limiting them while presumably Newcastle Utd have a free ride for a season or two, free to make significant new investments? But the way this was reported makes it sound like so much sour grapes and – as the story says – green-eyed jealousy.

How's that fan-driven review of football governance coming along after the Super League debacle? A day late and a dollar short, methinks.

Danny O’Neill
143 Posted 13/10/2021 at 15:19:23
My son mentioned this earlier. I'm not sure where I stand on this Barry and I'm no Paul the Esk, so excuse my naivety on all things financial.

I suppose in principle I don't have issue with it as long as it's a level playing field.

And by that, I mean, if you get someone willing to invest, you can spend the money invested. That's business right and football unfortunately is business now. This FFP stuff increasingly smacks of one rule for some, one rule for others. City seemed to challenge it and I've no doubt Newcastle will. Why won't Everton? Or is that our burned finger owner putting the breaks on?

Anyway, West Ham Sunday. I won't care who is in charge or how much we've spent for at least 90 minutes!

Robert Tressell
144 Posted 13/10/2021 at 16:41:04
Danny / Barry. It just isn't a level playing field. It's that simple.

Newcastle fans are expecting Rodgers, Marwood and Edwards to arrive from Leicester, Man City and Liverpool, along with a few players like Ramsey to stave off relegation.

From there, possibly the richest club in the world will gradually build towards a Big 3 position alongside Chelsea and Man City. And a Big 4 in world football with PSG.

Man Utd and Liverpool aren't in that league financially, given debt repayment commitments and lack of a sugar daddy. Salah, Mane and Van Dijk are 29, 29 and 30 respectively. Klopp will probably move to Spain rather than rebuild without the money to do so competitively. He might even go to Newcastle after Rodgers (or whoever).

This could be such a shake-up for Europe's self-appointed elite that it forces insolvencies, years in the wilderness, or a super league in some form (possibly by stealth).

Personally I expect the latter. With a new stadium and a league placing above Arsenal and Spurs, we might just get taken seriously enough to be part of it, or at least a 2nd tier of it perhaps.

Brian Harrison
145 Posted 13/10/2021 at 17:29:30
I am sure that most of the clubs objecting to the Saudi takeover of Newcastle Utd are aware of what happened when Mansoor took over an underperforming Man City and made them Premier League Champions within 5 years. But I also think they want to know why the deal that the Premier League have done with the new Newcastle owners can't be shared with the other 19 clubs.

They say they have got cast-iron assurances that the Saudi Royal family will have no involvement in running Newcastle Utd. But it seems to me the IPF group are financed by the Saudi royal family so how can they prove there is no involvement? Surely the other 19 clubs should be allowed to see the agreement that has changed the Premier League's stance on not allowing this takeover to take place?

Although Staveley has been the person doing all the interviews, she has only 5% of the new consortium, so has little or no say on how Newcastle will be funded.

David Pearl
146 Posted 13/10/2021 at 17:43:13
Let's hope they do an Everton. Koeman and Walsh should be available very soon. They can have Brands too. And the pies.
Michael Boardman
147 Posted 13/10/2021 at 19:00:51
Hopefully Newcastle will simply dilute the Top 6.

Prior to Man City becoming players, we had a very stable Big 4: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool, with the one season where we finished 4th.

Once Man City got involved, it allowed Spurs in, as there was a dilution. We did end up with a Big 6, but only 4 could qualify for the Champions League, so now we see Arsenal have struggled (and Liverpool pre-Klopp).

The Barcodes will mean that they will be able to dilute some big names moving to Man City or Chelski (in theory), which leave a bigger chasm, which, in theory, will allow the other "big" clubs to struggle, tighten their belts, and allow teams outside of this to have a shot at overtaking them.

Reality is, we'll see a Premier League where, if you haven't got a billionaire owner, you're not welcome. So role on Premier League playoffs and SuperGoal IX in 2051 – at which point, I'll be advocating everyone watching pool matches at the pubs that no longer exist!

Dale Self
148 Posted 13/10/2021 at 19:07:16
Good take, Michael. I was swimming around in the grey morality but this is a good perspective for those who are accepting the inevitable while being disgusted with it. We also have Covid's damage to the long roster and loaned asset model that the big clubs have been using to expand their transfer market operations. This may be a good time to add in another disruption though it is of the House of Sod.
UTFT – fuck those other guys!
Paul Jones
149 Posted 14/10/2021 at 16:21:27
I cannot see world class players who are approaching or in their prime, going to Newcastle. They don't go to the cities of Manchester or Liverpool so, unless Newcastle can become some tax-free haven for the wealthy, they will at best mop up the next tier, veterans wanting another big pay packet, or discarded gems like Salah.

They seem to be going for the Director of Football model so anticipate they like us will spend over the odds for players you could have picked up for far less previously. Pity Big Sam and his sidekicks are not there to advise them on signings.

Dale Self
150 Posted 14/10/2021 at 17:17:34
Ogden (ESPN) just put out a line that 2023 is the earliest one could expect Champions League football and it could be a struggle to stay out of relegation immediately. That rhymes with what you're saying, Paul, only certain types will show up for that kind of action and it's not clear they would solve Newcastle Utd's problem.
Robert Tressell
151 Posted 14/10/2021 at 17:40:42
I can't see Newcastle Utd playing Champions League football before season 2024-25. They've got a lot of catching up to do.

Roger Helm
152 Posted 16/10/2021 at 20:29:23
Having lots of money doesn't guarantee silverware.

Man Utd have burned through about a billion pounds since Sir Alex Ferguson left without winning the league.

Newcastle have a big fan base (only because it's a one-club city) but it's a cold and miserable place to live and the club has a complete absence of winning anything in living memory. I can't see it attracting any Galactico players or managers.

They will certainly move up the league in the next few years as they sign better players, but I think it will be many years before they are contenders.

Barry Rathbone
153 Posted 16/10/2021 at 21:24:53
The advantage Newcastle have is the Abramovich and Mansour models are now part of footy history, the mistakes they made are there to be studied and avoided. However, it's likely they will just follow suit and heave money at it till a winning team appears.

Avoid Latinos and warm continent wallahs (James says hello) and focus on northern European and Scandinavian players for climate reasons and they should be cleaning up in no time.

Quite looking forward to it on the basis it adds another club capable of denting the neighbours' aspirations. Haway the lads!

Peter Neilson
154 Posted 19/10/2021 at 12:47:41
Looks like the emergency meeting of the Premier League clubs will have scuppered Newcastle's immediate sponsorship plans for a month at least.

Premier League clubs vote to block Newcastle sponsorship deals at emergency meeting

Would also stop Usmanov sponsoring our training cones for £100m.

Bobby Mallon
155 Posted 19/10/2021 at 22:15:41
I believe that, because Mike Ashley kept Newcastle Utd in profit, then the Saudis can spend what they like over the next 3 seasons.
Barry Hesketh
156 Posted 19/10/2021 at 22:27:33
Peter @154
Apparently because Moshiri now only holds circa 8% of shares in USM, it means that USM won't be viewed in the same way as the Newcastle owners and therefore, Usmanov's business can sponsor Everton FC so long as it falls in line with the going rate for such deals.

Bobby @ 155
I suppose in theory Newcastle could splurge circa £300m to £400 in the next couple of windows and so long as they kept the average losses down to the £105m average in the next three years they could avoid any penalties.

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