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Newcastle United: Saudi Arabian takeover completed

The Premier League approved the takeover of Newcastle United after receiving ‘legally binding assurances’ that the Saudi state would not control the club .

Instead the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which will provide 80% of funds for the deal, is seen as separate to the state . This is despite the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, being listed as chair of PIF .

The deal ends Mike Ashley’s 14-year reign at St James’ Park . The Premier League has agreed the deal to end the long-standing dispute .

Newcastle fans gathered outside the stadium on Thursday to celebrate the deal . Mike Ashley has been at the helm of the club for 14 years .

“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.

“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”

A deal was initially agreed in April 2020, but the buyers walked away four months later . The Premier League offered arbitration to settle a disagreement on who would control the club .

Saudi Arabia settled an alleged piracy dispute with Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, which own rights to show Premier League matches in the Middle East .

Premier League and consortium reached agreement over piracy dispute . Agreement was reached prior to news that piracy dispute had been resolved .

Saudi Arabian state has been accused of human rights abuses, but with majority owner PIF deemed a separate entity, that, and any piracy issues, were no longer an impediment to takeover .

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