If Newcastle United’s success persists, Harry Redknapp believes that their supporters won’t be concerned about their Saudi Arabia-backed ownership as the club returns to the top ranks of European football.
Under the majority control of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Eddie Howe’s team secured a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last season, earning qualification for the Champions League in their inaugural full campaign under the new ownership.
When the PIF-led consortium assumed control in 2021, Newcastle was facing the threat of relegation. However, strategic signings such as Bruno Guimaraes contributed to their eventual safety.
Newcastle’s investments have continued with the acquisitions of players like Sandro Tonali and Alexander Isak, signaling the club’s commitment to bolstering its squad.
Nevertheless, the owners have faced criticism from supporters of other clubs.Saudi Arabia has faced condemnation for its human rights violations and the criminalization of same-sex relationships. Despite these ethical concerns, Redknapp believes that most fans will overlook them in light of the club’s success.
“[The Saudis] are not going to mess about, they’ve got the money,” former Tottenham and Portsmouth manager Redknapp told Stats Perform.
“They’ve come in and bought Newcastle. It’s the Saudis that have bought Newcastle. Do the Newcastle fans really care now whether they’re from Saudi Arabia or whether they’re Geordies who own the club?
“They couldn’t care two monkeys. For them, if they’re winning games and they’re taking a club forward and improving the team… they don’t care, they’re just happy.”
The previous owner, Mike Ashley, failed to keep Newcastle’s supporters engaged, but the club’s newfound financial strength has provided a significant uplift. According to Redknapp, that will be the primary focus for the majority of the supporters.