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Newcastle United Takeover Finally Confirmed

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Newcastle United’s long-awaited, Saudi Arabia-backed takeover has finally been confirmed, bringing Mike Ashley’s unpopular tenure at St James’ Park to an end.

The consortium – made up of PCP Capital Partners, David and Simon Reuben and the Gulf state’s Public Investment Fund – first started planning their bid all the way back in 2017.

They eventually tabled an offer in 2020, but the Premier League blocked the purchase over fears that the Saudi partners would become directors at the club, as well as a dispute over broadcasting rights.

This prompted Ashley to launch two-fold legal action. The first was an arbitration between himself and the Premier League, while the second was a Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Recently, a breakthrough was made when Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on Qatar-owned beIN SPORTS. After this the Premier League indicated that they would support the takeover – and Ashley also dropped his case, leaving no further roadblocks.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “The Premier League, Newcastle United Football Club and St James Holdings Limited have today settled the dispute over the takeover of the club by the consortium of PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.

“Following the completion of the Premier League’s Owners’ and Directors’ Test, the club has been sold to the consortium with immediate effect.

“The legal disputes concerned which entities would own and/or have the ability to control the club following the takeover.

“All parties have agreed the settlement is necessary to end the long uncertainty for fans over the club’s ownership.

“The Premier League has now received legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United Football Club.

“All parties are pleased to have concluded this process which gives certainty and clarity to Newcastle United Football Club and their fans.”

An official club statement from Newcastle read: “The Investment Group is comprised of long-term, patient investors who have every confidence in the future success of the Club. Today’s announcement is the conclusion of a thorough and detailed process that has allowed the Investment Group to arrive at a deal that benefits all stakeholders and will leave Newcastle United well-placed to pursue a clear, long-term strategy.

“His Excellency Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, will serve as Non-Executive Chairman of Newcastle United. Amanda Staveley, chief executive of PCP Capital Partners, will have one seat on the board. Jamie Reuben will also be a director of the Club, representing RB Sports & Media.

“For PIF, one of the world’s most impactful investors, the acquisition is in line with its strategy of focusing on key sectors including Sports and Entertainment, and aligns with PIF’s mission to actively invest over the long term – in this case, to harness the Club’s potential and build upon the Club’s legacy.”

Amanda Staveley, CEO of PCP Capital Partners, added: “This is a long-term investment. We are excited about the future prospects for Newcastle United.

“We intend to instill a united philosophy across the Club, establish a clear purpose, and help provide leadership that will allow Newcastle United to go on to big achievements over the long term.

“Our ambition is aligned with the fans – to create a consistently successful team that’s regularly competing for major trophies and generates pride across the globe.”

Although the change in ownership will likely lead to success on the pitch, Saudi Arabia’s involvement has been criticised by many, including human right group Amnesty international.

“Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we’ve urged the Premier League to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues,” the organisation said in a statement.

“The phrase ‘human rights’ doesn’t even appear in the owners’ and directors’ test despite English football supposedly adhering to Fifa standards. We’ve sent the Premier League a suggested new human rights-compliant test and we reiterate our call on them to overhaul their standards on this.

“As with Formula One, elite boxing, golf or tennis, an association with top-tier football is a very attractive means of rebranding a country or person with a tarnished reputation. The Premier League needs to better understand the dynamic of sportswashing and tighten its ownership rules.”

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‘Black Stars Coaches Are Afraid Of Andre Dede Ayew’ : Countryman Songo

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Controversial Ghanaian journalist, Patrick Osei Agyemang who is known as Countryman Songo has made a bold claim about Black Stars captain, Andre Dede Ayew.

He made this bold claim when he appeared on the flagship evening show, Good Evening Ghana aired on the popular Ghanaian television station, Metro TV.

During his submission, he was asked about the leadership of Dede Ayew in the Black Stars team, and answering this, he stated that there is no problem with the leadership of Dede, however, the coaches are afraid of the player.

According to him, as a coach, you must be able to control every player in your team, and in the case of Andre Ayew, he has declined in form so coaches must know when to play him, however, these coaches make the player dictate to them.

Watch the interview below;

He was in the studios of Metro TV to discuss the performance of the Black Stars at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Cameroon where the team failed to win any of their group matches and ended up at the bottom of the group.

They lost two matches against Morocco and Comoros and drew with Gabon.

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Mohammed Salisu Reportedly Agrees To Play In Ghana’s World Cup Playoffs Against Nigeria

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Ghanaians can express a sigh of relief as Southampton defender, Mohammed Salisu has at long last chosen to support Ghana in their FIFA World Cup campaign against adjoining nation, Nigeria, in the play-offs, his uncle Yakubu Ahmed revealed.

Mohammed Salisu affirmed his choice not to play Ghana at the international level when Alhaji Grusah reached out to him which turned into a subject of public interest.

Football administrative head, Alhaji Karim Grunsah revealed that Salisu requested that he “remain away” when he attempted to persuade the footballer to play for Ghana.

Mohammed has turned down innumerable Black Stars call up referring to reasons that he isn’t yet prepared but the uplifting news coming from his uncle has it that he has at long last acknowledged to address his country as the Black Stars are set for a vital season finisher game against West African opponents Nigeria, as the two groups mean to meet all requirements for the competition in Qatar.

Speaking on the subject, the player’s uncle said he has informed the family of his decision to finally play for the national team.

“He will be playing for Ghana soon. He has assured us that he will play in the World Cup qualifiers,” Yakubu Ahmed told Kumasi-based Sikka FM, as quoted by GhanaWeb.

“He cleared the air about his absence in the AFCON but assured of availability for the World Cup qualifiers.”

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Shatta Wale Is Fighting Nigeria Out Of Frustration : Sam George

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Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam George, disclosed that Shatta Wale animosity towards Nigerians is a result of frustrations from the system.

In an interview on Hitz FM, Sam George mentioned that Shatta Wale’s frustration comes from a poorly organized system.

“Shatta is fighting Nigeria. It’s a frustration of the system. We were in a world of our own, but again, what did we do? No conscious effort by the state or private capital to invest in that sector.”

According to Sam George, Ghanaians are selfish and will the fight progress of their own.

“Then again, it comes to what I think is a problem of our country. Ghanaians celebrate mediocrity. We are content with little. Ghanaians tag you as greedy when they see you pushing for more… Ghanaians will fight you. We fight our own. Nigerians celebrate their own.”

Sam George also revealed that in the late 70s, Ghanaian musicians have really enjoyed West Africa more than Nigerian music.

He said, “In the 70s Ghanaian music was the ish across West Africa, Highlife. In the early 2000s, our Hiplife was what it was and Nigerians didn’t have any response to us. They were still banging on Fela Kuti’s music to respond to our Hiplife. At the time, Obrafour and Lord Kenya were setting the place ablaze. At the time, Okomfuor Kwaadee came out with hits, Samini, then Batman, Kokovelli, KK Fosu, I mean Nigerians had absolutely no response to us.”

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