The Newcastle United club owners have been Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Reuben brothers and Amanda Staveley since 2021. They bought the Magpies from Mike Ashley after 14 years.
The PIF are now the majority owners in the Premier League outfit after securing 80% of the shares in October 2021. The Reuben brothers, David and Simon, and Staveley, meanwhile, took control of 10% of the Toon respectively. Staveley also moved under the name of her company, PCP Capital Partners.
When did the PIF become the Newcastle United club owners?
Ashley sold Newcastle for £305m in October 2021 to see the PIF, Staveley and the Reuben Brothers become the owners. The Premier League rubber-stamped the consortium’s takeover after receiving legally-binding documents that ensure the PIF is an entirely distinct entity from Saudi Arabia’s rulers.
The takeover was an arduous process as the Premier League targeted assurances that Saudi Arabia’s rulers will not interfere in the running of Newcastle. It also proved a hugely controversial takeover as Amnesty International extensively condemns the Middle East nation for its dire human rights record.
Yet Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud sits on the PIF’s board as its chairman. A selection of Newcastle fans also oppose the Saudi-backed ownership of the club with supporters group NUFC Fans Against Sportswashing often protesting against the takeover.
Many Newcastle fans celebrated the Saudi-backed takeover after the PIF, Staveley and the Reuben brothers replaced Ashley as the club’s owners. The Sports Direct magnate had owned the club since May 2007 when he purchased Freddy Shepherd and Sir John Hall’s shares in the Magpies for £134m.
Ashley did not carry out any due diligence before buying the Toon only to then realise the club was £100m in debt. And while his tenure as owner started with a lot of jubilation among fans, it quickly turned sour. Contact and his presence at Newcastle’s stadium, St James’ Park, also became limited.
What have Newcastle won since the PIF became their owners?
Saudi Arabia’s PIF, the Reuben Brothers and Staveley became the owners of Newcastle from Ashley in October 2021 with the club sitting 19th in the Premier League table. The Magpies had not won in their opening seven fixtures to the season under Steve Bruce. The Toon had also only scored eight goals.
Newcastle had further not finished a top-flight campaign in the top half of the table since finishing in 10th in 2017/18. So, the Saudi-backed consortium made sacking Bruce one of their first objectives in October 2021. They quickly turned to name Eddie Howe as their latest manager in November 2021.
Howe initially joined Newcastle on a contract running until June 2024 but later extended his contract in August 2022. The PIF, Staveley and the Reuben brothers acknowledged his instant success having guided the club to 11th place. Now, Howe has Newcastle dreaming of qualification for Europe again.
The Toon also reached the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup) final in February 2022 under Howe. Newcastle’s trophy history has been sparse in recent years with the club having last played a major final in 1999. The Magpies have also not lifted a major title since the 1968/69 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
What other sports franchises does the PIF own?
The PIF has invested in projects around the world alongside its ownership of Newcastle. It also has a stake in Babylon Health, Lucid Motors, Uber and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, per the official PIF website, among others. It also helped to launch the breakaway golf series, LIV Golf, during 2022.
How much is the PIF worth?
According to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) has a net worth $607.5bn (£486.5bn). It lists the PIF as the sixth-most valuable sovereign wealth fund in the world. The PIF is also the third-most valuable sovereign wealth fund from a Middle East country.
Meanwhile, The Times credited the Reuben Brothers with a net worth of £22.25bn as of May 2022. It marked an increase of £800m on their 2021 net worth with the family’s asset value mostly coming from property and the internet. David’s son, Jamie, is also a co-owner and is a director of Newcastle.
As for Staveley, The Sun credited her with a net worth of £110m at the time of her becoming one of the co-owners of Newcastle. Although she later admitted in High Court documents in February 2022, that she borrowed £30.5m to help fund her 10% stake in the St James’ Park natives.