Hopes of a Newcastle United takeover by Christmas, continue to be just that, hopes.
It is now a number of weeks since Amanda Staveley’s PCP and a number of other potential buyers were claimed to have signed NDAs (non-disclosure agreements), allowing them to start examining the club’s books and do ‘due diligence’.
Hopes of a quick resolution have been and gone, with reports that already more time has elapsed than it took for Manchester City to be sold to Sheikh Mansour, Amanda Staveley also involved in that club purchase.
These weeks have been tough for Newcastle fans, brought to the brink of hope/expectation that 10+ years of Ashley rule was shortly coming to an end, only to be left staring at the clock, a bit like kids waiting for Christmas.
If there is due diligence and/or serious negotiations taking place, then it is unlikely that they would see spoon feeding the media/fans as high on the list of priorities.
Instead we are seeing embarrassing ‘exclusives’ filling the void, only yesterday (Sunday) two newspapers had attention grabbing headlines.
One in Indonesia was a cobbled together rehash of rumours and other made up previous exclusives, whilst The Star claimed that the club will be sold this week and repeated their previous ‘exclusive’ which claimed insider knowledge of a meeting between Amanda Staveley and ‘Newcastle chiefs’, where bids for Luke Shaw, Andy Carroll, and Ross Barkley were supposedly discussed and assurances made that Rafa would be given £100m+ to spend in January.
With much discussion of the weekend’s Newcastle United takeover exclusives, somebody with a little more credibility has stepped into the debate.
Luke Edwards covers Newcastle United for The Telegraph and whilst his take on the matter isn’t quite as sensational, it is more believable.
He describes negotiations as ‘delicate’ between the club and potential buyers but insists that having spoken to people in the know: ‘things chugging along and still moving in right direction’.
There is also a bit carrot and stick, with Luke Edwards telling Newcastle fans ‘Don’t be despondent but don’t get your hopes up either’.
Nobody thought it was going to be as easy as selling your car, or even your house, and we all know how long that can take…but there are various worries for supporters when they think about whether they can get rid of Mike Ashley at last.
A number of times Ashley has claimed the club is up for sale but nothing has happened, leading most fans to doubt whether indeed he was serious about selling and/or if he was asking for too much money.
Has he ticked those two boxes this time? Probably a majority of fans will believe that the club is genuinely up for sale but not so many will believe he will settle on a realistic market price.
Supporters also worry that a post-Ashley era could still see the Sports Direct branding continuing to deface the whole of St James Park, as a condition of the sale potentially.
It is now exactly six weeks until Christmas Day, lets hope the chugging Newcastle United takeover has reached its destination by then.
“I’m told Newcastle United takeover not close to completion, but things chugging along and still moving in right direction.
“Don’t be despondent but don’t get your hopes up either.
“Negotiations are delicate.”