The Premier League’s association with the Middle East was firmly established back in 2008 when Sheikh Mansour of the UAE bought Manchester City in a £210 million deal.
The deal drew much media attention, and in spite of all the controversies that the club have been witness to over the years, the Citizens have gone on to establish themselves as one of the strongest and most dominant sides in the English top flight.
The interest from the Middle East hasn’t waned in any way over the years with Manchester City’s local rivals Manchester United also being linked with a £4 billion take over about a year back.
The Red Devils agreed on an MOU with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority to help them develop a sustainable and thriving football sector in the country.
Newcastle United are the latest Premier League club to be linked with a Middle Eastern takeover, with a deal expected to be struck before the end of this week.
The proposed £300 million move has the interests of the UK government attached to it, given the fact that the country is looking to strengthen its ties with the Saudi government.
As much as 80 per cent of the overall stake in the club will be held by the Saudi-based Public Investment Fund, while broker Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers will hold ten per cent shares each.
Current Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is eager to get the burden off his shoulders because of the huge TV bill that he might be hit with after a meeting held last month, with the decision being made to provide rebates to broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sports owing to the unfulfilled contractual obligations.
If the takeover bid finally goes through, we could soon have another cash-rich top club in the Premier League.
Glory days could return to St James’ Park
There was once a time when the Magpies were regarded as a force to be reckoned with in the English top flight.
The club, which was established back in December 1892, went on to win the top-flight titles back in 1904-05, 1906-07, 1908-09 and 1926-27 seasons.
During a roller coaster ride, Newcastle has gone from the highs of winning several league titles to the lows of being relegated to the second tier.
The desire to win had always been there. The fans expected silverware from their team and the players fulfilled those obligations by winning as many as six FA Cups between 1909 and 1955.
However, since the advent of the Premier League, the Magpies have mostly remained mid-table finishers, failing to raise the bar for their fans.
The present financial turmoil played an important role in their latest involvement in the second tier of English football during the 2016/17 season.
Their failure to keep hold of Rafael Benitez back in 2019 was a clear sign of the troubles that had been brewing within, with Mike Ashley now okaying a bid to sell the club.
We, therefore, hope that the new takeover will be beneficial not only for the club and its fans but also for Premier League lovers around the world. It will make Newcastle United a force to be reckoned with once again.
The Magpies could very well be in the race for a top four finish, and maybe, for the Premier League title as well.
Luring world-class players
A steady inflow of money through the gates of St James’ Park will mean that in spite of the initial difficulties, Newcastle United will be able to attract world-class players.
Former Liverpool and current Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho is one among the high-profile stars to be linked with a move to play either under former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino or Rafael Benitez on Tyneside.
The Catalan giants will look for something in the region of £70 million, giving his agent a chance to negotiate a deal.
Soon-to-be free-agent Edinson Cavani is yet another high-profile player to be linked with a move to the club, according to ESPN.
Contributing to the economy
Premier League continues to be one of the most attractive leagues in the world, and we love the pace and competition on offer there. The governing body attracts a lot of investments through broadcasting rights of the Premier League around the world.
A study by Ernst And Young found that the English top flight contributed to approximately £3.3 billion in taxes to the UK government during the 2016-17 season.
The contribution was enough to sponsor around 1,00,000 jobs in the country.
A detailed analysis reveals that Sky Sports pays around £11 million for the broadcast right of every single game, followed by BT Sports.
The latest Saudi Arabian takeover will, therefore, not only contribute to the country’s economy directly but will also be beneficial on an indirect level.
The excitement is quite natural and hopefully, it will increase the popularity of the club on a global level.
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