Is the buyout of Newcastle by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund bad news for the hypothetical sale of Olympique de Marseille? Not necessarily…
See their club bought by extremely wealthy Saudi businessmen, supporters of theOlympic Marseille have long dreamed of it, those of Newcastle are living it. This Thursday, the takeover of the northern England club by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund was formalized. What was celebrated as a big win by Magpies fans, whose club will become even richer than PSG or Manchester City.
The Magpies explode with joy after the official press release! ⚫️⚪️🇸🇦 pic.twitter.com/vNbNIcKJKj
– PLFrance_ 🇫🇷 (@PLFrance_) October 7, 2021
For OM, is this the end of the soap opera of the sale to Saudi investors? Not necessarily. And it would even be quite the opposite. There was never any question of the Canebière club being bought out of the Saudi sovereign fund, behind which we find the prince heir Mohamed Ben Salmane (nicknamed MBS). According to what Thibaut Vézirian argued, it was Al-Walid Ben Talal who was tipped to buy OM. Last summer, Vézirian ensured that Ben Talal was “Free to move”. Its activities are not linked to those of MBS.
Saudi Arabia lands well in football
The arrival of the Saudis in Newcastle is therefore not incompatible with a possible takeover of OM. These are not the same investors, who would have missed their shot in Marseille and would have found their happiness elsewhere. We can even see it as a sign that Saudi Arabia wants to develop with the help of football, known to be a tool of “soft power”. So, why not imagine several clubs owned by Saudi funds? At the time of rumors about the takeover of OM, last February, the British journalist Ben Jacobs had also explained thata takeover of OM by Ben Talal could enter into a national strategy for Saudi Arabia.
« Coming back to this interest of Ben Talal, I know he is not particularly a football fan, but he knows the power of the image of sport and what it could bring to his company., explained the journalist. In addition, his relations with Prince Mohamed Ben Salman have improved significantly in recent times, and he wishes to be fully part of the “Saudi Arabia 2030” project which consists of developing investments outside the oil economy, and sport. is part of it to improve the country’s international image. This can concern OM like other clubs. ” This already concerns Newcastle. And tomorrow Marseille?