LONDON: The chairman of Newcastle United has written a letter to thank supporters on the first anniversary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed takeover of the club.
Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the PIF-led consortium took over the club from Mike Ashley last October.
Newcastle, under manager Eddie Howe, have seen an upturn in results in the Premier League and the beginnings of serious investment off the pitch.
The letter read: “To all the fans of Newcastle United Football Club, Thank you for your incredible support.
“I am very conscious of the contributions that you all make – on and off the field. Football clubs are driven by their fans and this club’s fans are more passionate and more committed than any others. I have seen for myself on many occasions how Newcastle fans have lifted our team.
“As we mark the first anniversary of our takeover of the club, it seemed appropriate to take the time to say thank you – on behalf of the Newcastle Board.
“The first game after the takeover will live long in my memory. The feeling of pride at holding the black and white scarf as I entered the stadium. The collective roar of 52,000 of you and the unrivalled, electric atmosphere of St. James’ Park on match-day. I will never forget the warmth of your welcome to my fellow board members and me on that October day.
“A year ago, we set out some principles in an open letter that framed our thinking as custodians of the club. We told you that we wanted to build, over time, a consistently successful team. And we told you that we were focused on long-term success.
“There is still a long way to go, but each season is a building block towards our objective – to challenge for trophies both domestically and in Europe. The club we are building is made up of people who understand our long-term vision, and who understand the patience and persistence that it will take to achieve those goals. Those values are reflected in the players that we bring to the club.
“Bringing the women’s team into direct ownership of the club is a part of that plan. Progress won’t always be smooth – but we will always forge ahead. You can rest assured that we are all working very hard to drive the club forward.
“The support of our fans and the Newcastle community is an incredible motivation for us. It will never be taken for granted.”