Newcastle United: What will the takeover mean?
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Newcastle United look set to welcome new owners in the imminent future after the Premier League apparently gave the go-ahead for a Saudi-backed consortium to buy the club. Mike Ashley has been trying to sell up since 2017, with fans regularly demonstrating their disdain for the current owner.
A deal to sell the club to Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers now appears to have been finalised, despite initial talks breaking down last year amid questions about who would have overall control.
The Premier League wanted to know if PIF was owned by the Saudi state, with all owners needing to pass a test to measures their suitability to control a club.
But the Premier League is now satisfied that PIF is separate to the state, despite Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman being the chairman of the fund.
It means Newcastle could potentially change hands in the coming hours.
One man who could be approached to manage the club after the takeover is completed is legendary Newcastle striker Alan Shearer.
Shearer spent a decade as a player with his hometown club after moving from Blackburn Rovers for £15million in 1996, before having an ill-fated temporary spell as manager in 2009.
But he has already given his say on whether he would take the top job at St James’ Park for a second time.
Shearer was quizzed by Gary Lineker last year about his thoughts on returning to the Magpies.
“One hypothetical question,” Lineker quipped on a Match of the Day Top 10 podcast.
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“Let’s say that Mike Ashley left, he sold the club and the new owners gave you a call tomorrow to come back and manage Newcastle. Would you take that job?”
Shearer’s reply was anything but ambiguous.
“No, it’s too late for me now in management – it’s too late for me now I think,” said the Euro 96 top scorer.
During his time on Tyneside, Shearer struck 206 goals in 405 games and was voted the club’s player of the season four times.
He went on to become the Premier League’s record goalscorer after finding the back of the net an incredible 260 times in 441 games for Newcastle, Blackburn and Southampton.
The 51-year-old’s spell in charge of Newcastle then came as the club battled to stay in the top-flight.
But, despite his iconic status in the north east, Shearer was only able to steer the side to one victory in eight games and Newcastle were relegated to the Championship.
The former England international swiftly departed the club and has not set foot back in the dugout since that fateful stint, instead opting to work as a pundit.
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