Saudi Arabian representatives visit Newcastle United for talks amid stadium, sporting director and transfer plans

Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-RumayyanNewcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan
Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan attended the 1-1 draw with Brighton on Saturday

PIF representatives were on Tyneside this weekend amid a busy and important period for Newcastle United.

Club chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan attended the 1-1 draw with Brighton and held crunch talks with the Toon hierarchy. Darren Eales, Amanda Staveley, Mehrdad Ghodoussi and Jamie Reuben were also present. 

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Other Saudi Arabian board members include Abdulmajid Ahmed Alhagbani and Asma Mohammed Rezeeq. Any major decision at St James’ Park must be signed off by PIF - the sovereign wealth fund that owns 80 per cent of the club.

That includes transfer budgets, which are governed by FFP/PSR restrictions. The Daily Mail report that a Saudi delegation jetted into the club’s Benton training ground for talks ahead of a hectic few months.

Newcastle will discover their European fate by May 25 when the FA Cup final takes place. Securing sixth spot and a Manchester City win would ensure Europa League qualification - potentially luring a higher calibre of player this summer.

St James’ Park also provides a hot - and controversial - topic for the boardroom to consider. Reports in recent weeks have suggested Newcastle are looking to expand their iconic home above 60,000 capacity. 

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Debates have raged among supporters, with many calling for a new stadium and others vehemently rejecting the idea. Perhaps more important is the sporting director decision, with Dan Ashworth still on gardening leave.

His successor is expected to be appointed in the coming weeks and Al-Rumayyan, just as he did with Eddie Howe, will hold the deciding verdict. Crystal Palace chief Dougie Freedman is understood to be the front-runner.

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