The controversial consortium taking over Newcastle United

Newcastle United are arguably one of English football's most underachieving clubs, so fans will be delighted by the take over by a Saudi Arabian consortium.

A lack of investment, poor performances on the pitch and a failure to attract top quality in terms of players and the manager as well as an inability to keep them when they do are all reasons fans have had enough with previous owner Mike Ashley.

The 'Ashley Out' campaign has gained a significant following over the years and many of the supporters will be glad to see the back of the SportsDirect owner, who took over the club in 2007.

But now, the club has been taken over by a consortium of Saudi Arabians.

There were previous concerns that this would mean the club would essentially belong to the Saudi Arabian state, but the consortium were able to prove otherwise.

This was required to gain approval from the Premier League.

The deal could was approved today.

Who are the consortium?

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will front the deal and provide 80% of the £300 million takeover.

Despite being able to iron out the issues that meant the Premier League could consider Newcastle as separate from the state, the PIF is chaired by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman.

It was set up in 1971 to further the business interests of the state of Saudi Arabia. It will mean that Newcastle will become on of the richest clubs in the world and one with near endless financial resources.

Manchester City, backed by the United Arab Emirates and Paris Saint-Germain, backed by Qatar are two similar deals. They have become two of the dominant forces in European football since their respective takeovers.

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Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards told the BBC's Football Daily podcast: "If I was the rest of the Premier League, I would be worried because we are talking about the richest, deepest, wealthiest public sovereign wealth fund in the world.

"They are going to be a major player now – we’ve seen what PSG and Manchester City have done, how they’ve transformed the landscape of European football. And Newcastle now, effectively, have owners that are wealthier than both of those state-owned football clubs," he said.

“Newcastle are going to be a state-owned football club rightly or wrongly."

Who is Mohammad bin Salman?

As Saudi Arabia have a bad record when it comes to human rights, some have accused the deal as 'sportswashing' a term used to describe a company or state aiming to cover up a track record of abuses through sports.

At the head of the PIF and at the centre of controversy is Mohammad bin Salman.

Prospective owners of Premier League clubs must pass a test to judge if they are fit to take charge of the club.

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Human rights group Amnesty International called on the test to change so that owners with serious questions to answer in the way of human rights could not own English football clubs.

"Instead of allowing those implicated in serious human rights violations to walk into English football simply because they have deep pockets, we've urged the Premier League to change their owners' and directors' test to address human rights issues," said Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International chief executive.

Despite concerns over human rights issues, a recent fan survey of Newcastle supporters showed that 93.8% of fans are in favour of the takeover.

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