With the news yet to be confirmed, it has been reported that Emirati billionaire, His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al-Nahyan may be buying British football club, Newcastle United for a whopping $USD 442 million. According to British press, the Abu Dhabi royal has been discussing this lucrative deal with Newcastle United’s current owner, Mike Ashley, with the proposal being submitted to the Premier League.
In an official statement to The Chronicle, Bin Zayed Group said, "We can confirm that representatives of His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team, about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club. We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity." However, representatives of the club’s current owner and the Premier League are yet to confirm the news.
In the past, Arab billionaires have been known to invest their money for lucrative returns into international companies and organizations, and football clubs are just one of them. Last year, it was rumoured that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman would be investing a rather large sum in Manchester United Football Club, but we are yet to hear further news.
In 2018, His Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan made an attempt at purchasing Liverpool Football Club, but wasn’t successful in his $2.5 billion bid – and had he been successful in obtaining the club, it would have broken the record for the world’s most expensive football club take over. Currently awaiting approval for Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh, Newcastle United was put on the market for sale by Ashley in 2017, but hasn’t been offered a deal worth accepting just yet.
Under his belt, Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan set up the Bin Zayed Group in 1988, of which he is also the chairman. The 61 year old’s conglomerate hones in on four major sectors including trading and industry, energy, real estate, financial and tech services and construction, based in Dubai.
If Sheikh Al Nahyan’s deal with the British football club is successful, he would be the joining the ranks of Egyptian Nassef Sawiris and American businessman Wes Edens, who attained a stake in Aston Villa Football Club, which is now part of the Premier League, in 2018.