Newcastle United
Premiership side Newcastle United have been bought out by a Saudi-led coalition for more than £300 million. Is a “Big Seven” on the way? (Credit: AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

A Big Seven? Saudi-Led Coalition Completes Buyout of Newcastle United

Could a new “Big Seven” be forming in the Premiership? A Saudi-led coalition has completed a buyout of Newcastle United for more than £300 million.

In a year where massive “oil clubs” dominated the transfer windows, it appears that Newcastle could find itself elevated to European contenders in a matter of years. You never know what could happen, but the club now has the financial backing to do almost anything they want. Let’s get into how this shakes out.

The Deal Itself

This deal has been an ongoing battle for the better part of a year and a half. At the start of the pandemic in April of 2020, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) attempted to buy the club, but couldn’t pass the Premier League’s ownership and directors test, per Bleacher Report.

There was also concern that the coalition would, privately, be run by the Saudi state. As of Thursday, the Premier League has received legal assurances alleviating those concerns.

“The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media,” a Premier League statement said. “Following the completion of the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect.”

VIA ESPN

“The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover. All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.”

VIA ESPN

“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.”

VIA ESPN

The reality is this: Newcastle now have the capital to buy world-class talent. They will be able to compete with the Premier League’s elite of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and United. Whether or not they can convince that world-class talent to turn down opportunities in London and Manchester remains to be seen.

Newcastle and the Big Six

It’s been said ad nauseum throughout this post, but the 1927 English champions can now compete with the City’s, Chelsea’s and PSG’s of the world. It’s been a year dominated by headlines about the Super League, Barcelona’s financial troubles, and the power disparity between Europe’s elite and the rest of the continent. The “oil clubs” have made their wealth and power known. A future of electric cars, opposing fans jokingly say, dooms these teams in the future. But in the present, they are the cream of the crop.

Could Kylian Mbappé find himself playing on a rainy night in Stoke in a reality beyond Antoine Griezmann’s computer? Maybe. It’s highly unlikely, yet the reality is that we could see the young talent of South America, Spain, England and more join a squad coached by Antonio Conte or Frank Lampard. What a world that would be.

Our own Gavin Daly wondered if Newcastle was on the precipice of joining the Premier League elite more than a year ago. We are beginning that process. The “Big Six” could soon become the “Big Seven”, but not before the club has to climb out of the relegation zone this year.

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