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The New Arab

Emirati billionaire royal to buy Newcastle United for $445 million

The deal was signed between the Emirati billionaire and owner Mike Ashley [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2019

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UAE Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who previously failed to buy Liverpool Football Club for £2 billion, has signed a contract to purchase Newcastle United.
An Emirati billionaire has reportedly agreed a £350 million ($445.24 million) deal to buy Newcastle United, according to British tabloid The Sun.

Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al-Nahyan signed a contract with the English club’s current owner Mike Ashley and submitted the move to Premier League, the report suggested.

In October, Ashley, who also owns British sportswear retailer Sports Direct International Plc, said he had not received adequate offers to sell the club after putting it up for bids a year earlier.

The club owner delivered more positive news in December after declaring promising progress for a deal.

Sheikh Khaled is the cousin of Manchester City owner and Arab billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Sheikh Khaled had previously failed to buy Liverpool Football Club for £2 billion last year, the Daily Mail previously reported.

He is also the founder of Bin Zayed Group, a leading conglomerate with diverse business interests in the local and international markets.

Newcastle United, the Premier League and the Bin Zayed Group did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comments, the agency reported.

Gulf money

The latest move came just days after a Financial Times report said the Qatari group that owns French champions Paris Saint-Germain is bidding to buy a controlling stake in English Championship club Leeds United.

The UK daily claims that "people with direct knowledge of the negotiations" revealed that state-backed Qatar Sports Investments has been in talks with the club's Italian owner Andrea Radrizzani over buying the second-tier club in the past few months.

"Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice," the FT reported one person close to the talks as saying.

"Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years."

The gas-rich Gulf state has, like Manchester City owners Abu Dhabi, projected its power through football and won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, despite what is usually a summer tournament having to be moved to November-December to avoid matches being played in scorching desert temperatures.

It has also invested heavily in PSG and brought a host of stars to the French capital, including the world's most expensive player Neymar. It has sought to take the Paris team from Ligue 1 champions the kings of Europe, so far unsuccessfully.

The FT reports that talks had been on hold as Radrizzani waited to see how Leeds fared in their push for promotion to the Premier League under maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa.

However, they have restarted after Leeds were dramatically dumped out of the play-offs by Derby County earlier this month and missed out on well over £100 million from playing top flight next season.

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