In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020 file photo, empty seats during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St James' Park stadium in NewCastle, England.
A Saudi Arabian-backed £305m takeover of Newcastle United has been completed. Image Credit: AP

Newcastle: Newcastle United great Alan Shearer said he understood fans’ excitement following the Premier League club’s takeover by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium but called for patience as the new owners look to revive the side.

The Premier League announced that Newcastle had been sold to a group consisting of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media in a £305m deal.

Dream again

Newcastle fans have celebrated the end of Mike Ashley’s unpopular 14-year reign and Shearer, who scored 206 goals in 10 seasons for the club, said they can dream again.

“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 said.

“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.”

Bigger offer

Winless Newcastle, who are second from bottom, host Tottenham Hotspur in the league on Oct. 17 in what is set to be the 1,000th game of Steve Bruce’s managerial career, though the 60-year-old said he recognised he might soon be sacked following the takeover.

Outgoing Newcastle owner Mike Ashley said he had rejected a higher bid than the one that led to the club being taken over by a Saudi Arabia-led group, but believed he had acted in the best interests of the club.

“I would like it to be known that I received a higher offer for the club than the one that I accepted. It was from another reputable bidder who made a credible case,” Ashley said. “But I felt the bid that we accepted from the current new owners would deliver the best for Newcastle United.”