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06th Jun 2023

Newcastle’s owners buy four of Saudi Arabia’s biggest clubs

Callum Boyle


One includes Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr

Newcastle United’s majority owners, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), have purchased the four biggest clubs in Saudi Arabia.

The four clubs include Al Ittihad, Al Hilal, Al Ahli and Al Nassr and they have taken a 75 per cent majority stake in each of them as part of the self-proclaimed “Sports Clubs Investment and Privatisation Project”.

All Saudi clubs were previously “owned but not controlled” by the Ministry of Sport and the 25 per cent of the stake that is left in each side will be transferred to non-profit foundations from the Saudi Ministry of Sport.

A statement from the PIF said: “As part of today’s announcement of the Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project, four Saudi clubs – Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr, and Al Hilal – have been transformed into companies, each of which is owned by PIF and non-profit foundations for each club.

“The transfer of the four clubs will unleash various commercial opportunities, including investment, partnership and sponsorships across numerous sports.”

Other major leagues around the world do not permit multi-club ownership. The Premier League and LaLiga are the strictest on these rules while UEFA forced RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg to provide evidence of the differences between the club to allow them to compete in European competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo will now be one of the players under the PIF’s portfolio and they could also add Karim Benzema to their ranks, with the forward set to join champions Al Ittihad after he left Real Madrid at the end of the season.

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