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Finance

Newcastle owners invest further £70m as infrastructure improvements planned

Featured image credit: Ultra7/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Ultra7/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size

Newcastle United’s ownership group, which comprises Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media, has invested a further £70.4m (€80.7m/$82.2m) of equity into the Premier League club, with infrastructure improvements set to be among the priorities.

The new injection of funds brings the ownership group’s investment to date to over £450m and follows previous investments to improve the stadium, upgrade the club’s training facilities and recruit senior executives to build out its commercial operations.

An investment consortium led by the PIF, which is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, completed its acquisition of Newcastle in October last year in a deal worth a reported £305m. The Premier League approved the takeover after receiving assurances from the new owners that the Saudi Arabian state would not be directly involved in running the club.

Since the takeover, Newcastle’s senior hires have included Darren Eales as chief executive and Peter Silverstone as chief commercial officer. Eales joined Newcastle from Major League Soccer club Atlanta United, while Silverstone joined from football media platform OneFootball, having previously worked at Arsenal.

In July, Newcastle became the latest Premier League club to commit to the concept of safe standing, initially for away fans at St. James’ Park. Rail seating provision was installed following guidance from the Sports Ground Safety Authority.

To avoid major disruption to season ticket holders, the club said it will look to introduce a similar provision in a home area of the stadium as early as 2023, subject to a consultation process.

St. James’ Park is among the bigger stadiums in the Premier League, with a capacity of over 52,000. Expansion of the ground has been restricted by the stadium’s proximity to residential areas.

Upgrades to the stadium could be on the horizon, though, with Newcastle’s statement confirming that the latest investment will focus on “infrastructure and day-to-day operations”.

Eales said: “We are at the beginning of a long-term plan that aims to build a club that can compete consistently at the highest levels of English and European football.

“We need to develop the whole business, as well as the playing squad. And we need to do so while adhering to the Financial Fair Play rules. This additional investment further enables us to continue implementing the business plan.”