As Newcastle United sign a landmark £305m takeover deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, there are more than a few links to Rangers.
Newcastle United are – theoretically – now the richest club in football with their new owners said to boast wealth up to the value of £320bn [Independent].
Newcastle fans reaction after official takeover, here from St James’ Park. Exciting times are expected for the Magpies. ⚪️⚫️ #NUFC[🎥 @JoshHalliday]pic.twitter.com/uoPepjQXlP
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 7, 2021
With the takeover comes plenty of criticism but for Rangers fans, they will be more than empathetic to the joyous scenes at St James Park as the deal was concluded.
Mike Ashley – the pantomime St James’ Park villain and former owner – was an investor at Ibrox during the so-called Spiv era and when his grip was released from Rangers’ retail operations supporters rejoiced almost as much as their Toon counterparts. Almost.
Not only this, but Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard has filled plenty of newspaper and digital news space in the international break by being mentioned alongside the job in Newcastle.
Steve Bruce is still very much in charge at the club but for a side who now have the wealth to match fan ambitions the ex-Man Utd centre-back isn’t the most glamorous choice.
Whilst there’s no suggestion Gerrard is set to move to a Newcastle other than bookies odds being “slashed”, the notion he could move down south makes decidedly good copy up north.
Rangers partners Castore will be rubbing hands at Newcastle United deal
But the most interesting link concerns the shared retail partners of Rangers and Newcastle United, Castore, who must be licking their lips at the news of the Amanda Staveley-led takeover deal.
The now Manchester-based retailer moved into the Premier League this summer, signing major deals with both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United.
Rangers – the disruptor brand’s first venture into the world of football – acted as a major springboard to getting these deals done by the admission of one of the company’s co-founders.
Tom Beahon claims in signing the deals there was a “level of trust and faith that would not have been there without the Rangers partnership” [Sports Pro Media].
𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗖𝗔𝗦𝗧𝗟𝗘 𝗨𝗡𝗜𝗧𝗘𝗗 𝘅 𝗖𝗔𝗦𝗧𝗢𝗥𝗘
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) July 2, 2021
But the Rangers partners courted controversy with comments regarding Newcastle United being the “flagship club” of their footballing operations.
“There is no more important deal for us than this one. Financially, given what we have committed to this, we have to get it right,” Beahon told the Athletic after signing the reported six-year deal.
“Coming into the competitive football-kit market, the deals we’re going to be able to do will involve risks because the biggest brands don’t want us in their market.
“With Newcastle, there’s risk involved, but I also think the upside is significant. I’m an entrepreneur and I can’t be fearful; it’s in my DNA to take risks.”
It’s a risk which appears to have paid off at this early stage as Newcastle United prepare for a cash injection which could transform their chances in the Premier League.
Traditionally one of the division’s bigger clubs, perhaps it’ll be a Castore shirt Newcastle will be wearing when they finally get their hands on a first major domestic trophy since 1955.
Meanwhile, one Rangers star had his international retribution cut short as an Ibrox teammate was made to wait by their national side’s manager.