With the country hurtling towards a 2nd lockdown and jobs, businesses, regions set to be decimated in recession, the Premier League’s decision not to approve the Saudi takeover – which would have seen millions invested into the North East – becomes evermore absurd by the day.
Back in July, a teary-eyed Amanda Staveley told The Athletic that the consortium had prepared an immediate £250million investment that would kickstart a revolutionary transformation at Newcastle.
“And on top of that, we had massive plans to invest in the city, in housing, everything. We talked with the council. Newcastle are the last great untapped club,” she went on to add.
THIS line here describes how the Premier League’s efforts to curtail the takeover grows increasingly preposterous with each passing minute.
The Saudi-led consortium would have followed in the footsteps of what Sheikh Mansour has done at Man City, with the Abu Dhabi prince building up a property portfolio of more than £300m in Manchester since his arrival 12 years ago. The Reuben brothers, who would have had a 10% stake in the club, already own a vast swathe of property in the city including Gosforth racecourse.
Man City’s state of the art Etihad Campus, a training complex built on regenerated land that has got bigger and bigger over the past decade, has created hundreds of jobs and boosted the economy of one of northern England’s largest and most vibrant cities – ring any bells?
What other foreign entity is going to stroll into the UK and look to inject hundreds of millions of pounds into a struggling region, without looking for a return on their investment, during this financially unstable time? Especially into a project that so many people are passionate about in Newcastle United.
Things look as though they are only going to get worse – not better – over the next couple of months regarding COVID-19 and the economy. Richard Masters and his top flight cronies have dropped a huge, erroneous clanger by refusing to approve this deal.
Should Mike Ashley and his elite sports lawyer Nick De Marco decide you take on the Premier a league and all their might, they could well be fighting for the future livelihoods of many Geordies down the line as well.