How latest Saudi Arabia media moves could boost Newcastle United spending power- and world profile

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Newcastle United could see the benefits of the latest Saudi Arabian business move.

Saudi Arabia is looking to invest in the nation’s global media presence which could have a big impact on Newcastle United.

According to the Financial Times, The Saudi Research and Media Group (SRMG) have reached out to media consultancies with the aim of launching an international English-language news channel to increase the nation’s global media influence.

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SRMG currently runs 36 titles, including newspapers and channels partnered with Bloomberg and The Independent.

Newcastle United non-executive chairman and chair of PIF Yasir Al-Rumayyan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)Newcastle United non-executive chairman and chair of PIF Yasir Al-Rumayyan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Newcastle United non-executive chairman and chair of PIF Yasir Al-Rumayyan. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Funding for the initiative is said to be “off the scale” and seeks to grow Saudi Arabia’s media and financial presence around the world.

This could impact Newcastle United in two ways.

The growth of the Saudi economy will increase the wealth of Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, United’s majority owners. This could allow PIF to further invest in the Magpies, both on the field and in terms of infrastructure, so long as Financial Fair Play requirements are met.

However, with Newcastle United’s aim to become the biggest Premier League team in the Middle East, the media venture could open up further commercial opportunities for the club, allowing the club to increase spending in line with FFP. The Magpies are currently believed to be in talks with a number of parties to secure a new front of shirt sponsor, having negotiated the release from their Fun88 contract.

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Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billionOwner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion
Owner = Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) — rumoured net worth = £320billion

To broaden their supporter base, last year, Newcastle United launched an Arabic Twitter account in an attempt to grow their support base.

At the time, Newcastle’s chief commercial officer Peter Silverstone said: “Our ambition is to grow our supporter base in Saudi Arabia; a country whose young population includes a large, passionate and highly engaged football community.”

The account now has over 45 thousand followers.

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