Merson stunned at what PIF chiefs have done at Newcastle


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Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Amanda Staveley stunned Paul Merson by giving a speech in the St James’ Park dressing room following Newcastle United’s FA Cup exit to Cambridge United.

Merson has expressed bewilderment at their actions in his Sky Sports column. Eddie Howe had shared, via the Daily Mail, that Al-Rumayyan, whose Saudi Public Investment Fund own 80% of Newcastle, and Staveley, a 10% shareholder, spoke to his side after Saturday’s tie.

Toon boss Howe noted the Saudi-led consortium chiefs were ‘very supportive’ to his stars. They also emphasised that they are in the Premier League survival fight together. The U’s trip to Tyneside was a break from top-flight action, with the Magpies 19th in the standings.

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Newcastle will host relegation rivals Watford at St James’ this Saturday with the chance to move above the Hornets. Claudio Ranieri’s side sit 17th, two-points better off than United, but having played a game less. The Vicarage Road side are also on a six-game losing run.

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Al-Rumayyan and Staveley’s Newcastle speech stunned Merson

Losing to Cambridge added more misery to the Magpies’ torrid season, which has featured one Premier League win so far. But Al-Rumayyan and Staveley’s speech to the Newcastle squad in the dressing room post-game stunned Merson.

The Arsenal icon questions what good the PIF chief’s actions can do to help turn the term around on Tyneside. Instead, Merson urges Newcastle to spend in the January window.

“Someone told me they have all the money in the world. Take a chance and spend it, if you have all the money in the world,” Merson wrote. “It’s alright going down into the dressing room and having a go at the players. Do they think the players are going to listen to them?

“Seriously, what is the owner going to say to them? The only thing he can say to them is: ‘I’ll give you £100,000 if you keep us up’. What else can they say? They are in it now.”

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PIF ready to dig deep to turn things around on Tyneside

Newcastle’s Saudi-led owners appear willing to dig deep and invest the funds Merson feels are needed to avoid relegation. The Toon have already signed Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for £12m. Sky Sports also report Burnley star Chris Wood is undergoing his medical.

Additionally, the Daily Mail note Newcastle hope to follow Wood’s arrival with a deal for RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara. The Mali international would cost a club-record £80m in January, plus £160k-a-week in wages. But his AFCON involvement may be an issue.

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