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Saudi Arabia government would “support” takeover bids for Man United, Liverpool

Saudi Arabia government would “support” takeover bids for Man United, Liverpool

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister has affirmed that the country’s government would “definitely support” any takeover bids for Manchester United or Liverpool from the private sector.

Two of England’s most successful clubs could both be in new hands in the near future, with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group and the Glazer Family of Man United both announcing their intentions to sell.

FSG – spearheaded by John W Henry – initially claimed to be searching for new investors, but it has now been confirmed that the American firm would also consider a full sale.

Meanwhile, the widely-criticized Glazer family revealed that they would be entertaining offers for the club earlier this week, just after Cristiano Ronaldo‘s contract termination.

Speaking to BBC Sport at the World Cup, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal has claimed that any bids from the Saudi private sector would be given support by the government.

© Reuters

“From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and there’s a lot of passion about football,” the Saudi minister said. “It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League.

“We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom. But if there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?”

Newcastle United saw their long-awaited £300m Saudi-backed takeover completed last October, making the Magpies one of the richest clubs in world football.

Eddie Howe‘s side were facing the threat of relegation from the Premier League before Amanda Staveley came into power, and Newcastle now sit third in the table after a brilliant start to the 2022-23 season.

“They’ve done an excellent job. They still have a long way to go – they’ve brought the right people on board,” Prince Abdulaziz said of the Magpies.

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 12, 2022© Reuters

“I’m sure they have targets to win the league and the Champions League and so on because they strive for the best and always bring the best on board, so I think it’s going to be a bright future for Newcastle.”

Liverpool are not reported to be in any concrete talks with potential buyers, but an FSG partner has insisted that there is a “lot of interest” from possible investors in the Merseyside club.

The Reds have also been rocked by the news that sporting director Julian Ward is to leave the club at the end of the season, with FSG’s decision to sell believed to be a factor in his resignation.

Meanwhile, tech giants Apple are said to be in discussions over a £5.8bn takeover of Man United, with the Glazers announcing their desire to explore new “strategic” opportunities after being attacked by Ronaldo in his TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan.

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