Newcastle United will 'be the new Manchester City' if their takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is successful, fans have said.
The news has left Manchester United fans worried – with some taking to social media to share their concern for the club's future in the top four if they have to compete against the wealth of the prospective Newcastle owners.
It was announced on Wednesday that the Newcastle takeover could be back on after Saudi Arabia indicated it would lift its ban on broadcaster beIN SPORTS.
The Qatari network has been unable to broadcast in Saudi Arabia for the last four and a half years as part of a diplomatic dispute but the ban is set to come to an end, it has been reported.
The broadcaster is also understood to have been approached by Saudi Arabia to settle its one billion dollar (almost £736million) arbitration case.
Along with the turning off of the beoutQ pirate network and other pirate networks by the Saudis, it appears to remove at least some of the hurdles for a Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle.
And United fans have been left worried by the news that the takeover could now be set to go through.
Here's what they've been saying on social media.
@Ali29__: "If this takeover happens Newcastle will win the league before Man United do."
@markgoldbridge: "Newcastle takeover will change things if it happens. 2 clubs with Billioinares intent on winning everything becomes 3. Which means long term Liverpool or United drop out the top 4."
@zohayerrr: "I’m changing my club from Manchester United to Newcastle United. Thank you for the memories @ManUtd but it’s time to say goodbye."
beIN is the legitimate Premier League rights holder in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and signed a new three-year deal last December understood to be on the same terms as the last agreement – around 500m US dollars (almost £368million).
As things stand, the club and the Premier League are set to enter arbitration over the takeover, with a separate competition law hearing confirming last week that the arbitration hearing would start on January 3.
The takeover would involve Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) taking a controlling 80 per cent stake in the club.