Sports Saudi-backed consortium buys club from Mike Ashley – the Athletic – . October 7, 2021 0 19 Share Facebook Twitter Pinterest WhatsApp Linkedin ReddIt Email Print Tumblr Telegram Mix VK Digg LINE Viber This is the day Newcastle United fans thought he would never come. Mike Ashley is gone and after 14 difficult and controversial years at Tyneside new owners are in place, backed by the financial might of the Saudi state, who have the potential to be transformative for a club that has struggled to have a meaning during the Ashley era, whose team and infrastructure were neglected and whose mission, in the recent words of Steve Bruce, head coach, is to “keep moving forward.” In the Premier League. The supporters wanted hope. Now they have it. Still, if the road has been bumpy under Ashley, it likely will remain so. The involvement of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) raises uncomfortable questions about sports washing, morals and geopolitics, but it is also what arouses such enthusiasm. The consortium led by Amanda Staveley has a vision to invest in the football club and also in the region at large. As usual with Newcastle, nothing is easy and the same goes for the dramatic conclusion of a saga that has dragged on for 18 months and seems to be bogged down in a legal dispute. Finally – and blue, after all this time – it’s over. What happened? Put simply, Ashley ultimately sold Newcastle United. And for much of the same price, around £ 300million, he had agreed in April 2020. And to the same potential buyers.