By Arab News
By Frank Kane
Another big financial backer of the £300 million ($390 million) bid for Newcastle United football club has come out in favor of a takeover led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
The Reuben brothers, multibillionaire businessmen who want to buy 10 per cent of the club, said on Monday they were “very disappointed” when the bid was withdrawn late last week after months of stalling by the Premier League in England.
“We would welcome any resurrection of talks and progress with the Premier League and are aware that the Reuben brothers remain totally supportive of the deal should there be a way forward,” said a statement from their company, Arena Racing.
The brothers’ renewed support for the deal will raise the pressure on Richard Masters, the Premier League chief executive, who has remained silent since the takeover offer was withdrawn last week.
PIF made no secret of its disappointment and frustration that the Premier League — which has the duty to approve or reject a takeover of a member club — has reached no decision since contracts were exchanged on the deal in April that would give the Saudi sovereign wealth fund 80 per cent of the 128-year-old club
Amanda Staveley, the British financier who has been at the heart of the deal and would have bought the remaining 10 per cent, also wants to see the deal revived.
The Reuben brothers, who already run two horseracing courses in the northeast of England, said: “We were planning on creating one of the premier sporting hubs in the UK, undertaking development work that is vital for the region and enjoying valuable synergies with the football club.
“We continue to hope that those exciting plans are not in vain.”