- Mike Ashley reveals he received a high offer to sell Newcastle United
- Union of Saudi Arabia completes £305m deal to regain control of Newcastle
- Fans gathered in large numbers outside St. James Park to celebrate the news
- Ashley was unpopular with fans, but felt she owed her to seal the sale
Mike Ashley has revealed that the £305million takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi consortium was not the highest offer on the table.
Backed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, the acquisition was approved by the Premier League on Thursday and fans were seen leaping into each other’s arms, throwing drinks in the air, dancing and singing club anthems.
This ended Ashley’s 14-year reign as owner and while fans regularly protested to oust him, he opened up as to why his decision to take the PIF offer was made in Newcastle’s best interest. .
Mike Ashley opens up on selling Newcastle and why he didn’t accept the highest offer
A Saudi consortium led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seals £305m takeover
ashley told the sun: ‘I would like to know that I had received a high offer for the club which I accepted.
‘It was from another reputable bidder, who made a credible case. But I felt the bid we accepted from the current new owners would provide the best for Newcastle United.
‘Money was not my only consideration.’
Ashley stuck to this gun in her departure address, despite being under immense pressure to sell and leave the Northeast in recent years.
The Newcastle United Supporters Trust, which has campaigned outspoken against the Ashley regime, said a “great” 96.7 percent of its members wanted the Saudi union to take control.
For years, Newcastle fans have been protesting against Ashley, urging him to sell his club
Ashley felt she ‘owed’ him to set her up for the best future despite her anger towards fans
In an open letter posted on Twitter, NUST said, ‘for the first time in many years’ Newcastle fans felt the new owners could help them realize their full potential.
The open letter reads: ‘For the first time in many years we believe that our desire for an ambitious Newcastle United that you own can be a reality, for the best that can happen.
‘We appreciate your willingness and perseverance to purchase our football club despite long issues with the Premier League, and we appreciate Newcastle United’s special place in our communities, the passion of our supporters and your commitment to developing Newcastle. I appreciate your clear understanding. Joint.’
Ashley said: ‘I have known for some time that many Newcastle fans were disappointed with the situation and were in favor of change.
‘So I felt like I owe it to the fans to fight tooth and nail over the last 18 months to make it happen.’
He has driven Newcastle for 14 years and believes the Saudi bid presents the best bet for future success
The Saudi takeover means Newcastle now boasts the richest owners in football, worth £320bn.
A statement from the new owners read: ‘An investment group led by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media (the ‘Investment Group’) has completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle. United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited (‘Newcastle United’ or ‘Club’) from St James’s Holdings Limited. All necessary approvals from the English Premier League have been obtained and the takeover was completed on 7 October 2021.
‘The investment group consists of long-term, patient investors who have full confidence in the club’s future success. Today’s announcement is the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has allowed the investment group to reach a deal that benefits all stakeholders and would leave Newcastle United well to pursue a clear, long-term strategy .
‘The Governor of the PIF, His Excellency Yasser Al-Rumayyan, will serve as the non-executive chairman of Newcastle United. PCP Capital Partners chief executive Amanda Staveley will have a seat on the board. Jamie Reuben will also be the director of the club representing RB Sports & Media.
Some supporters brought Saudi flags and others adopted the traditional dress of a sheikh
For PIF, one of the world’s most influential investors, the acquisition is in line with its strategy to focus on key sectors, including sports and entertainment, and aligns with PIF’s mission to invest actively over the long term. Is – in this case, the ability of the club to harness it and build on the club’s heritage.’
Furthermore, PIF Governor Yasser Al-Rumayyan said: ‘We are extremely proud to be the new owners of Newcastle United, one of the most renowned clubs in English football.
‘We thank the Newcastle fans for their tremendously loyal support over the years and we are excited to be working closely with them.’