Saudi owners could 'dispose' of Newcastle to buy Manchester United
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The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) that owns Newcastle could “dispose” of the Premier League club to buy Manchester United, an expert has claimed.
Last month Man Utd owners the Glazers stunned the football and financial world by announcing that the Old Trafford club could be sold.
Assisted by the Rain Group, the controversial owners announced that they were looking for new investment in the club, in the form of either a complete sale or new minority shareholders.
There has since been a myriad of interested parties, with US-based venture capitalists and UK-based billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe touted as potential buyers
However, the most noteworthy interest has come from Saudi Arabia, with the country's sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal saying there was a lot of “interest and appetite” in Man Utd and Liverpool.
Though PIF currently owns an 80 percent stake in Newcastle, Prince Abdulaziz has seemingly given the green light for the wealthiest Saudi Arabia to invest in Man Utd and Liverpool, who are also on the market.
Could Saudi Arabia drop Newcastle for Man Utd?
Last year, a consortium led by PIF completed a £305million buy-out of Newcastle
The Magpies have since seen a drastic improvement in their performances and currently sit third in the Premier League, having lost just one of their first 15 games this term.
However, Simon Chadwick, who is a professor of sport and geopolitical economy at SKEMA Business School, claimed that it was possible PIF could drop their ties with Newcastle to make an approach for Man Utd.
Indeed in 2019, Saudi Arabia wanted to buy the Red Devils only to be offered a 20 percent minority shareholding instead.
It is likely that PIF would again be interested in the Premier League giants, though if they are to invest in Man Utd they would need to drop their Newcastle ties, given owners are unable to have two clubs simultaneously.
Chadwick told the Athletic: “Newcastle United has always seemed like an opportunistic purchase and I think in essence the deal for Newcastle was sold heavily to them by intermediaries.
“You had a willing seller and the amount of money they paid is small change.
“The opportunistic purchase of Newcastle, I think, was a consequence of being kicked back by Manchester United in the first place.
“There probably will be a certain amount of disbelief amongst Saudi officials having bought Newcastle when they really wanted to buy Manchester United. They are now in a position where they could potentially buy Manchester United.
“I might be going out on a bit of a limb here, but it is not entirely inconceivable that they could dispose of Newcastle and buy Manchester United.”