Mike Ashley’s controversial ownership of Newcastle finally looks set to come to an end with a consortium, fronted by Amanda Staveley, closing in on a £300 million takeover of the club.
Ashley had initially been seeking a price of around £340m for the Magpies, though this figure has now dropped with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic having had a significant impact on the value of the North East side.
Staveley’s consortium is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) alongside UK-based billionaire brothers, Simon and David Reuben, the latter of which will take a 10% stake in the club, while Jamie Reuben – son of David – is set to be named on the club’s board.
There is surprise, however, that there is no mention of PIF in any of the documentation provided to Companies House, with the original plan involving PIF assuming an 80% stake of the club and Yasir al-Ramayyan – the governor of PIF – being named as Newcastle chairman.
According to the Guardian, the deal involves Ashley loaning PCP Capital Partners and the consortium £150m in order to complete the deal, with the money set to be paid back to the retail entrepreneur in instalments over the coming years.
Legal documentation lodged with Companies House has provided the legal framework for the sale of the club, though any deal must first be ratified by the Premier League with the process likely to be delayed slightly given the current coronavirus crisis – Ashley currently at his home in Florida at present amid the lockdown.
Staveley first registered an interest in purchasing the club three years ago before being branded ‘a time waster’ by Ashley following the collapse of a deal, though current talks are now at an ‘advanced stage’ and could usher in an era of renewed investment at St James’ Park.