PIF, the Premier League’s new rich kid

By Manuel Sánchez Gómez

London, Oct 15 (EFE).- Newcastle United have changed overnight from a club threatened with relegation to one that could be challenging for the Premier League title in the coming years.

This is not down to some miracle or fairytale story, but rather Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which comes with a staggering wealth of $440 billion thanks to the country’s huge oil reserves.

Saudi authorities recently decided to diversify the fund, given oil’s finity and the world’s shift toward green alternatives.

The Saudi fund snapped up Newcastle United, a historic Premier League club, for a mere 300 million, barely denting the PIF’s accounts.

The PIF fronted 80% of the capital. The remaining 20% was split down the middle between PCP and RB Sports & Media, two British investment funds.

The face of the Saudi-led consortium is Yasir Al-Rumayyan, PIF governor who was put in charge by chairman and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of the Saudi king

Harvard graduate, golf lover, Uber board member and head of Saudi Aramco, the country’s national oil company, Rumayyan will delegate much of his duties and act like Newcastle’s non-executive chairman.

The close ties between the PIF and the Saudi government are what make the takeover controversial, despite the Premier League saying it had legal proof that Saudi Arabia would not control Newcastle United.

Mohammed bin Salman, often simply referred to as MBS, was in 2018 accused of ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulare in Istanbul.

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