Jubilant Newcastle United fans have celebrated the club’s Saudi takeover with a party outside the stadium.
There were raucous scenes as supporters sprayed beer, danced and sang when news finally filtered through that their unpopular owner, retail tycoon Mike Ashley, had got his wish and sold up.
Some even posed with Saudi flags outside St James’ Park, where fans had gathered throughout the day for news of the takeover.
Many had long promised to toast Ashley’s departure with beers – a party planned on social media with the hashtag “cans”.
They serenaded the statue of the late Sir Bobby Robson and celebrated the idea of their club being rejuvenated.
Drivers passing the famous old stadium tooted their horns and were cheered by the fans, some of whom had waited hours for official confirmation, scanning their phones for news.
When it came, there was an outpouring of excitement like their black and white heroes had scored.
Ian Beeby, from Longbenton, Newcastle, said he could hardly speak for the emotion he felt.
“We have got our hope back,” he said. “It’s the best feeling ever.
“It’s not about the money for me. The money is good, but it’s all about the hope, actually coming to the game and them having a go.
“Hopefully they will rejuvenate the city too.”
Dale Graham, from Throckley, Newcastle, said fans had waited 14 years for Ashley’s reign to end and now he was looking forward to the Saudi owners to bring in a new manager.
He said: “If I could play Fantasy Football, my first choice would be Mourinho.
“He’s got a soft spot for the club, it would be a no-brainer for me.”
Tony Starforth, from Gateshead, said: “It’s the best day ever. It has been a long time coming. The only way is up now.”