Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan warns Eddie Howe’s side not to rest on the successes of the last 14 months as the Public Investment Fund governor outlines his ‘thoughts and visions on the future’ of the club
Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan has told Eddie Howe and his players not to rest on the success of the past year as he outlined his vision for the future after inviting club staff to his home in Riyadh.
Howe and co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi were among a group of 100 employees who visited Al-Rumayyan’s residency in the Saudi capital this week.
The Magpies are third in the Premier League and being talked about as Champions League contenders this season, just 14 months on from the takeover led by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund.
Newcastle chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan (left) warned the team against resting on their laurels
Mehrdad Ghodoussi tweeted an image of the Newcastle travelling party in Saudi Arabia
And Al-Rumayyan – governor of PIF – has taken the chance to address the Newcastle party who are here in Riyadh for the team’s mid-season training camp.
‘It was a special moment for the chairman to welcome us to his home,’ said Howe. ‘It wasn’t underestimated by us, it was a really nice gesture. It’s not every day that you have that invitation, so we were humbled to accept it.
‘He was really good with us, communicated his thoughts and visions on the future. I really enjoyed spending time with him and his family. He was very welcoming and open, and I’m sure the players feel the same way. He was very good with them. He interacts and talks with them in a really good way.
Howe revealed that Al-Rumayyan communicated his thoughts on the future of Newcastle
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‘I think he’s very much for the team. He wants to acknowledge that and bring everyone together. He speaks really well and honestly, and I’m sure the players appreciated his words. It was, “Well done, but we want more, we’re very ambitious”. I think that’s what the players want to hear.
‘He’s been really pleased watching the team, how it’s fought for everything. They were team messages, but very effective messages. I think it was an acknowledgement from him to the staff as well. It was just nice for everyone to share that moment.’
Did Howe take the opportunity to press Al-Rumayyan on January transfers?
The Magpies are in Saudi Arabia on their mid-season training camp during the World Cup
The former Bournemouth coach is pleased with his side’s chemistry and is wary of upsetting it
‘I didn’t think it was the right time with his wife and children there!’ said the Newcastle boss, who has since held a transfer meeting with the owners at the team hotel.
The Magpies play Saudi champions Al-Hilal on Thursday evening
Howe, Staveley, Jamie Reuben and chief executive Darren Eales were also present at the club’s first international fan engagement event on Wednesday.
Around 100 supporters were at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Riyadh as the hierarchy spoke of their ambition to challenge for trophies and expand the club in the Middle East.
Two new commercial partnerships with Saudi-based companies have already been announced this week, as the club seek to maximise revenue to push back the boundaries of FFP.
Howe was given was a standing ovation by Saudi fans and those who had travelled from the UK, UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain. Captain Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff and Jacob Murphy then joined the manager for a meet-and-greet session at the hotel.
Newcastle play Saudi champions Al-Hilal at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium on Thursday evening.
The Private Investment Fund governor was very ‘welcoming and open’ according to Howe