The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Opinion

Newcastle United: Can sovereign wealth and football ever work?

Sovereign wealth involvement in football clubs has a chequered history. Saudi’s intentions with Newcastle are clearly about more than investment, but can these deals ever work?

Chris-SWF-banner-column-1920px.jpg

Is a football club the ultimate trophy asset? And is buying one necessarily as dim an investment for a sovereign wealth fund (SWF) as it might at first appear? The acquisition of Newcastle United by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) brings with it some mixed history, and some big current-day questions as well.

Football club purchases often look absurdly showy, no matter who is doing the buying. They are associated with the boisterous, the boorish, rather than with the savvy investor, and certainly not one tasked with stewarding the long-term wealth of a nation.

Exhibit A is Saif Gaddafi’s purchase of a stake in Juventus through the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in 2002 during the sovereign fund’s early days. These days, a frivolous stake in a glamorous footie asset ranks rather low on the list of sins for a man wanted under an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. But still, back then, it seemed illustrative of an investment style based on the power-hungry trappings of a screwball dictator – or a dictator’s son, anyway – Muammar Gaddafi was Saif’s father – rather than a refined investment methodology.

In

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree