The truth behind PIF’s involvement with Chelsea as Newcastle United’s rivals strike multiple deals

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Chelsea and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are closely tied, with many believing Newcastle United have been pushed aside.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund are in direct talks with Chelsea’s co-owner for the Blues to sell their unwanted, high earning players to the Middle East, according to reports.

Despite being Newcastle United’s majority owners, PIF are also major investors in Chelsea’s majority shareholder: Clearlake Capital.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

PIF has billions of pounds of assets managed by Clearlake but at the time of its Chelsea takeover, the 60% owners insisted there was no Saudi involvement.

Newcastle United reached the Champions League in the first full year of their Saudi ownership. (Getty Images)Newcastle United reached the Champions League in the first full year of their Saudi ownership. (Getty Images)
Newcastle United reached the Champions League in the first full year of their Saudi ownership. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

And football journalist James Nalton has said Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly visited the Middle East this month, just as a number of their players have been linked to the Saudi Pro League.

A few weeks ago it was announced PIF had bought a majority stake in the top four teams in their domestic league, in turn, financing the move for four international players each to join their newly acquired clubs.

With no such infrastructure as Financial Fair Play, this means Saudi are able to tempt players with eye-watering amounts of cash in a bid to compete against Europe’s top teams.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Karim Benzema is reportedly set to be paid 100 million per season after his move from Real Madrid to Saudi Pro League winners Al Ittihad.

N’golo Kante is reportedly set for a move to the Saudi Pro League this summer. N’golo Kante is reportedly set for a move to the Saudi Pro League this summer.
N’golo Kante is reportedly set for a move to the Saudi Pro League this summer. | AFP via Getty Images

However this development has left many confused as to what this means for Chelsea’s spending under Financial Fair Play as the inflated transfers provide the opportunity for a lot more spending.

Newcastle United fans, on the other hand, are confused as to why their majority owners aren’t helping their own club out. As one fan said: ‘We have the cheat code for FFP and still ain’t using it.’

But Chelsea’s desire to sell so many to the Middle East is a reflection on their financial situation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Newcastle United Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Newcastle United
Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Newcastle United | Getty Images

Since taking over the club from Roman Abramovich, Boehly has spent over £600 million on new players. So, to keep in line with FFP rules the Blues need to start selling.

Get the latest Newcastle United headlines with our free football newsletter! Follow the action from St James’ Park and beyond as we bring the sport news to you. Visit our website here to sign up.

N’Golo Kante, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Romelu Lukaku, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy and Hakim Ziyech have all been linked to Saudi in recent weeks.

Journalist Ben Jacobs reported Clearlake and PIF are close, stating: “Clearlake and PIF have an excellent relationship. And the latter are driving many high-profile moves to Saudi on behalf of Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli. [Chelsea] see an opportunity to offload some players to Saudi. And PIF have multiple Chelsea players on their radar.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With a dressing room of 30-plus players, the London club have names to offload. Newcastle are in a very different position.

Whilst Chelsea are looking for a way to comply with financial regulation, Newcastle United are looking to improve their squad.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.