Newcastle takeover: Alan Shearer says fans can start to dream but Saudi owners won’t bring instant success

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Fans outside St James’ Park last night after the deal was confirmed  (Action Images via Reuters)
Fans outside St James’ Park last night after the deal was confirmed (Action Images via Reuters)

Alan Shearer says the Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of Newcastle will allow the fans to finally dream but has called for patience as the new owners look to revive the side.

The £305million takeover yesterday by a group consisting of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media comes with Newcastle 19th in the table and without a win in seven games.

Under Mike Ashley’s unpopular 14-year reign the club have been relegated twice, and finished in the top half of the Premier League only three times – and on two of those occasions they were 10th.

They were fifth when managed by Alan Pardew in 2012 and made the quarter-finals of the Europa League the following season but the cup competitions have proved fruitless for Ashley with the club failing to reach a semi-final under his ownership.

Manchester City had not won a trophy in 32 years when they were taken over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008. Although, they have since been transformed it took the club three years to claim their first honour under their Abu Dhabi owners, the FA Cup, before winning the Premier League for the first time the following season.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former Newcastle striker Shearer called the takeover “a special day” but warned against the idea of a quick turnaround in fortunes.

"The dream is that we want a little bit of hope. Fans want their club to try and be the best and I really understand their excitement for that reason," Shearer, the club’s record scorer with 206 goals, told the BBC.

"The Newcastle fans haven't mattered for 14 years. Their money hasn't been invested and they've not been consulted. To have a club that has such passionate support but not have that level of consultation isn't good.

"We now have owners that will invest and that's important for fans to see that. It'll need patience and that's fine. We don't expect to be winning the league in the next few years or winning the Champions League, we expect a bit of something to look forward to."

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is the chairman of PIF but the Premier League gave the green light to the takeover after being given legally binding assurances that the Saudi state would not control the club.

The Saudi Arabian state has been accused of human rights abuses and Amnesty International criticised the deal.

Shearer said: “I understand that questions have to be asked about the human rights issues, it’s really important that we don’t brush them under the carpet. We have to educate ourselves on that and this will highlight that even more.”

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