Party time! Newcastle fans celebrate wildly outside St James’ Park after the £305m Saudi takeover is confirmed – ending the 14-year reign of unpopular owner Mike Ashley
Newcastle United fans partied into the evening as thousands gathered outside their St James’ Park stadium to toast the £305million Saudi takeover of the club.
Fans have called for the end of the Mike Ashley era for years and confirmation arrived shortly after 5.15pm on Thursday that his 14-year association as owner of Newcastle was over.
When news broke that the takeover, which is backed by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, had been ratified by the Premier League, fans were seen leaping into each other’s arms, throwing drinks into the air, dancing and singing club anthems.
Fans young and old came together to be present outside the Milburn Stand as they eagerly awaited media confirmation that a new era was underway.
Amanda Staveley, Chief Executive Officer of PCP Capital Partners and a 10 per cent stake holder in the club following the takeover, was all smiles in Jesmond as she was congratulated by supporters.
Her husband, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, was seen hugging fans when the news broke, with one telling him ‘this is the best thing to happen’ in the club’s history.
Legendary Newcastle striker Alan Shearer led the celebrations on social media.
He tweeted: ‘Yesssssssss. We can dare to hope again’
Newcastle defender Isaac Hayden added: ‘Exciting times for the club and the city of Newcastle. Enjoy your cans #NUFC fans’.
The Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust, which has vocally campaigned against the Ashley regime, said a ‘resounding’ 96.7 per cent of its members wanted the Saudi consortium to take control.
In an open letter posted to Twitter, the NUST said ‘for the first time in many years’ Newcastle fans felt the new owners could help them realise their full potential.
The open letter read: ‘For the first time in many years we believe our desire for an ambitious Newcastle United that strives to be the best it can be can be a reality under your ownership.
‘We admire your desire and tenacity to buy our football club despite the protracted issues with the Premier League, and we appreciate your clear understanding of the special place that Newcastle United holds in our communities, the passion of our supporters and your commitment to developing Newcastle United.’
The letter continued: ‘We look forward to learning more details of your plans for Newcastle United and I can assure you that our members will welcome you to Newcastle United.’
More to follow.