Newcastle’s Saudi-led takeover has sparked outrage among their Premier League opponents in the 24 hours since it was completed. There have even been attempts to prevent the group from attracting a rich sponsor, although individuals engaged have been advised that such efforts are pointless.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham all petitioned the Premier League to deny the Saudis access to the top flight, despite the £305 million transactions being sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s £700 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF). The other 19 clubs have also wanted a meeting with the Premier League to investigate why the Newcastle takeover was approved, according to reports yesterday night.
PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan — the club’s non-executive chairman — conveyed a statement of intent from Riyadh, indicating that the Saudis’ financial might will be crucial to any success.
Frank McParland, the former Liverpool senior scout and academy leader, has been appointed as a football adviser, which is expected to be announced soon. McParland has tight ties to Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers, two of the names that have come up in discussions about replacing Steve Bruce, who is expected to step down as manager.
For the visit of Spurs a week on Sunday, assistant manager Graeme Jones is set to be named interim manager. According to sources, the new owners seek a manager with Premier League experience, and there is speculation that Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers would be interested in the position.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard would be popular with the fans, and he is thought to be keeping a close eye on the situation.
The new owners had intended to meet the players yesterday, but they were on a scheduled day off, as was Bruce. Bruce was more hands-on than normal during Thursday’s training session, probably anticipating the arrival of Staveley and fellow board member Jamie Reuben.
Alan Shearer, who is likely to assume an ambassadorial job, was also at Jesmond Dene House on Thursday to meet with some of the consortium members.