It felt like it was never going to happen, but Newcastle United has new owners.
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners completed the acquisition of 100% of Newcastle United Limited, it was confirmed at 5 pm yesterday.
The Premier League received legally binding assurance that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control the football club.
The deal brings about an and to Mike Ashley’s turbulent 15 years overseeing the cub and marks a new dawn of optimism for Magpies fans.
Newcastle World spent Tuesday at St. James’ Park alongside keen fans who waited eagerly for the good news they were dying to hear.
Here’s what they had to say in the run-up to the takeover.
Josh from Leeds:
“I’m very excited. We’ve been here before but this one feels a little different. There’s less talking and more action. It seems more in the public domain this time. Very good. Very exciting.
“The future looks good. It’s gone from very bleak to very shiny. You don’t have to go back too far to look at The Entertainers. You’ve got the Shearers, managers like Keegan and Robson. “We need some more transparency between the club and the fans again.
“Get Shearer’s statue up here, talk to the fans a bit more.
“We’re not going to do what City did, it’ll be a five to 10-year process but we can get on and forget about the last 13 years.
“I can’t see Steve Bruce being there. I hope he’s not there. He’s a proud man but he should’ve left.”
Lewis from Durham:
“It’s been like winning the lottery and not receiving the payout these last 12 months. Now the payout is there and we can grab it.
“It’s not even about the money and top players. I just want to see people who care and want to see Newcastle back at the top.
“I’ve heard stories from my parents about Newcastle in the 80s and I want that. Back in the days, no matter who you supported, Newcastle was your second favourite team as they were entertaining.
“Steve Bruce needs to go. I wish him well but, in my eyes, the man can’t even manage a Sunday League team. To be in here, it’s not his place.”
Neil from Gosforth:
“I think everyone is excited.
“We do need to be open to conversation [about the human rights controversey] and not just pretend it doesn’t happen. Let’s use it as a platform to drive accountability and awareness.
“By the end of the week, I’d like to see Bruce gone… or yesterday, or six months ago.
“It’s who you bring in though. We can’t just think that because we have a takeover and a big stadium we can go and get [Antonio] Conte.”
Craig from Newcastle:
“I’m excited. It’s something that should’ve happened before. We’ve been heartbroken many times, since the Keegan days we’ve had no excitement at Newcastle.
“We’re not going to get a superstar team overnight, but as long as the club is moving forward that’s all I’m bothered about.
“Sure, we want Guardiola, Messi, Ronaldo and we’ll have Mbappe available and I heard Salah is available next season. Realistically, we just want something that will keep us in the Premier League this season and then we will build from there.
“The main thing is that the club is getting taken over, Ashley is out. Bruce has done a good job for what he’s had to deal with but, at the end of the day, he needs to go. If the club can move forward we can move forward, we’ll start drinking champagne instead of Stella.”
Holly from Newcastle:
“I’m absolutely delighted about the takeover. It’s been a lengthy and drawn-out process and we’re finally going to get an answer that we’ve all wanted for so long.
“I’ve only supported Newcastle under the Mike Ashley era and we go into every season with no hope and no ambition. Hopefully, we might not be that far off winning a trophy now!
“I definitely think it’s time Steve Bruce moves on. He’s done okay but I don’t think he can take us any further. For the new owners, it should be a priority to bring in a new manager.”
Darren from Newcastle:
“We haven’t seen this much excitement in years, I’m half expecting people to be climbing up the stadium like they did in the 90s. We need to take Newcastle back to where we belong.
“If things remained the way they were they’d lose a lot of fans in the generations to come. “This could be the major difference between having a lot of younger fans and not.”