Newcastle takeover: Fan says ‘we just want rid of Mike Ashley’
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Newcastle United’s proposed takeover could finally get the green light after a breakthrough in talks, with the Premier League expected to release a statement in the next 24 hours. The Premier League are locked in discussions with Newcastle and the club’s prospective new owners, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), and an agreement is expected to be reached.
And the latest development is likely to see the Premier League comment on the matter by Thursday or Friday, according to The Newcastle Chronicle.
A breakthrough was reached after the consortium responsible for making the £300million offer proved that the Saudi state would not have control of the club.
The PIF will be viewed as a separate entity to the Saudi kingdom, which should allow those involved to pass the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper person’ test for owners and directors.
It is believed that a resolution was found after Saudi Arabia settled its four-year dispute with Qatar-based company beIN Sports over alleged piracy of their Premier League coverage.
The consortium — comprised of the Riyadh-based PIF, financier Amanda Staveley and David and Simon Reuben — are hoping to take control of the club, with current owner Mike Ashley also keen for the sale to go through
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A deal was initially agreed in April 2020 between Staveley’s company, PCP Partners, and the Reuben brothers, before they walked away in August after the Premier League intervened offering arbitration over who would run the club.
But their hopes of reaching an agreement were boosted when the Premier League’s QC Adam Lewis said last week: “The transaction is very much on the table.”
After some 18 months of delays since the consortium’s first offer, it is understood approval from the Premier League could potentially arrive over the next 24 hours.
It is believed Ashley, the billionaire SportsDirect.com owner, is hoping for the deal to be concluded after putting the club up for sale in 2017.
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According to The Newcastle Chronicle, Ashley has informed the Premier League he will drop his arbitration case against the league if the takeover is allowed to go through.
Newcastle have chosen not to comment on the ongoing situation.
The news will delight the majority of Newcastle’s fanbase after a Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust (NUST) survey on Tuesday reported that 93 per cent of its members were in favour.
They are keen for a change in hands of the club after seeing their progress stagnate during Ashley’s 14 years at helm, having purchased shares from Sir John Hall and Freddy Shepherd in 2007.
But despite his status as Britain’s 61st-wealthiest man with a fortune of over £3bn, the club have been left frustrated by Ashley’s lack of investment on and off the pitch.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce has remained tight-lipped on the situation, but the 60-year-old said he hopes “clarity” will be provided to all those involved.
The Newcastle boss’ position is thought to be under threat if the takeover goes through, with the club’s potential new owners keen to install their own manager.
Eddie Howe, Steven Gerrard, Antonio Conte and even Zinedine Zidane have all been linked with the post should Bruce be sacked.
Under Bruce, Newcastle have taken only 37 points from their last 38 games but he has reiterated he will not walk away from his role.
The North East outfit are yet to win a game this season, with Bruce’s side currently 19th in the Premier League table with three points from seven matches.
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