Newcastle United owners £2.4bn investment in doubt as Tiger Woods claims PIF is not needed

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Newcastle United's owners have faced a public blow in their PGA Tour merger talks.

Newcastle United's owners have faced a public blow in their struggle to finalise their merger with the PGA Tour following months of negotiations.

Now, Tiger Woods has claimed golf doesn't need the Public Investment Fund thanks to investment from the consortium led by Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group.

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The PGA Tour recently agreed a £2.39bn deal with the newly formed Strategic Sports Group which has unsettled PIF's power in merger talks. And now the 15-time major winner has cohobated Jordan Spieth's comments who last week claimed PIF was "not needed."

Tiger Woods pictured during a practice round for this week's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Picture: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.Tiger Woods pictured during a practice round for this week's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Picture: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.
Tiger Woods pictured during a practice round for this week's Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. Picture: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

“Ultimately we would like to have PIF be a part of our tour and a part of our product,” said Woods.

“Financially, we don’t [need that] right now. The monies that they have come to the table with and what we initially had agreed to in the framework agreement, those are all the same numbers. Anything beyond this is going to be obviously over and above. We’re in a great position right now.”

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It's believed PIF are still looking to inject around £2.39bn into the PGA Tour themselves. In June, PIF and the tour signed a framework agreement to combine their assets into a new entity but the deal deadline of 31 December was not met, throwing the future of the merger into doubt.

Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

Now the investment from the Strategic Sports Group mixed with PIF's close scrutiny in the US, the wealth's fund leverage in the deal has been significantly reduced. Newcastle United and LIV Golf governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan was set to serve as chairman of the new entity, but now the move looks unlikely. “The PIF deal obviously is ongoing,” insisted Woods, who revealed that he’d never personally met or had any discussions with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF governor and LIV Golf chairman. “We have solidified our agreement with SSG. PIF is ongoing and we are still negotiating.”

But Woods appears settled with the current state of affairs, continuing: “The consortium that they have at SSG, the partners that have come together to be a part of the group, is quite remarkable, to be honest with you, in the sports industry.” “They are unbelievable ­leaders and at a time when we need great leaders going forward, I think this elicits that. The amazing brains, the ideas that can make this tour better… we are looking forward to that.”

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