A Saudi Arabian led consortium has completed a £300 million takeover of Newcastle United, 18 months after it was proposed to the Premier League
Saudi Arabia now owns an 80% stake in Newcastle United. David and Simon Reuben, British property developers, and PCP Capital Partners, based in Dubai, each own 10%.
“All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership,” a Premier League statement said.
“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.”
Yasir al-Rumayyan, Governor of the 500 billion USD Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), will be a director, and The Guardian has reported Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Qasabi played a key role in securing the takeover.
Amanda Stavely, a British businesswoman and partner in PCP Capital Partners, will also be on the board of directors.
Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, released a statement saying the takeover must prompt changes to the ownership rules in English football to stop ‘sportswashing’ by foreign governments.
“The closed-door trial of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killers was widely perceived to be a part of a wider whitewash by the authorities, and Saudi Arabia is accused of a catalogue of crimes under international humanitarian law during the long-running conflict in Yemen,” Deshmukh said.
“Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues.”
Hatice Cengiz, the widow of Slain Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has called the takeover “horrifying”.
Khashoggi was a fierce critic of the Saudi government and Crown Price Mohammed Bin Salman before his 2018 murder in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey.
Mike Ashley bought Newcastle United for £137 million in 2007 from Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall.
Disney’s sport streaming goals
Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.
In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.
The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.
Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.
This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.
Paris shoe store challenges customers to outrun pro sprinter
A Parisian footwear boutique invites customers to partake in a unique and adrenaline-pumping shopping experience.
This audacious store, nestled in the heart of Paris, dared its patrons to steal a pair of shoes, all in good fun, provided they could outpace a professional sprinter.
Reports have emerged of this extraordinary stunt that combines shopping with a dash of track and field. The challenge was set by the shop as a marketing ploy, aiming to attract the adventurous and those in search of a novel retail encounter. The store employed the services of a pro sprinter, renowned for their lightning speed, who was ready to chase down any would-be ‘thieves’ on the spot.
The customers were offered a thrilling choice – take a leap of faith and try to outrun the sprinter, or purchase the shoes in the traditional manner. Those who dared to participate had their athletic skills put to the test, leaving bystanders in awe.
This daring initiative has sparked conversations around town, with opinions ranging from branding brilliance to potential risks involved. While it has generated considerable attention, many are questioning the wisdom of such an unconventional strategy.
Zeze, 29, is a French Olympian who’s current run of the 100-meter dash is under 10 seconds.
Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open comeback after injury hiatus
Tennis fans rejoice as Rafael Nadal, the renowned Spanish tennis maestro, is geared up to mark his return to the Australian Open
In 2024 after Nadal will return to the game after a year-long absence due to persistent injuries. The anticipation surrounding his comeback has been mounting, and enthusiasts are eager to witness his extraordinary skills on the court once again.
Nadal’s absence from the Australian Open in 2023 was a setback for both the tournament and his legion of fans. The ‘King of Clay’ has been nursing injuries, focusing on a rigorous rehabilitation regime to ensure he comes back stronger and more formidable than ever. His determination to overcome challenges and re-enter the tennis arena has been nothing short of inspirational.
The Australian Open holds a special place in Nadal’s illustrious career, and his return to the tournament is highly anticipated. Tennis aficionados are keen to witness whether Nadal can reclaim his former glory and compete at the highest level after his hiatus.
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