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Newcastle United confirm talks on selling club with Abu Dhabi royal family – Report

5 months ago
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A rapidly moving story with update after update, following the late Sunday breaking news reports that Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan had allegedly agreed to buy Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.

The Sun report (see below) stated that ‘contracts have been signed and submitted to the Premier League between Ashley and Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.’

This was then followed up by a report from The Mail (also see below), in which they reported that they had been in touch with representatives of Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.

Those representatives reported to have said that a deal has been ‘concluded’ by the two parties and formal confirmation is now awaited, with also a commitment to keep Rafa Benitez as manager.

As Monday morning has developed, there as been any number of ‘updates’ from the various media and we have tried to bring you some of the more interesting ones, with The Chronicle, The Telegraph and Keith Downie & Pete Graves of Sky Sports.

The overall message appearing to be that something has been going on BUT not necessarily got to the point of an agreed deal.

The Chronicle are reporting as fact that there has been talks between Mike Ashley representatives and an ‘Abu Dhabi royal family member’, with Newcastle United said to have confirmed that.

Both Sky Sports and The Telegraph backing up this position of definitely something going on, even if only talks so far.

The Chronicle report:

‘Newcastle United’s senior sources have confirmed there is interest in a takeover from Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.

However, while there have been bold claims that a deal is close to being “concluded”, the suggestions from St James’ Park are that there is “some way” to go on the purchase.

What has been confirmed is that discussions have taken place with the Abu Dhabi royal family member.

Nobody has denied the possibility of a takeover at this stage of the £350million price tag that was reported by the Sun late on Sunday evening.’

Pete Graves – Sky Sports:

“Interest from Abu Dhabi Royal Family (in buying Newcastle United) confirmed.

“Club declining to comment on reports deal is “done”.

“Sheikh Khaled failed in takeover bid for Liverpool (failed to provide proof of funds).

“It’s news to Rafa’s camp who were unaware of fresh interest.

“Fans been here before!

“Staveley and Kenyon takeover bids still fresh in the memory.

“With Rafa’s future still a priority and the transfer window open, the club is entering another crucial period.”

Keith Downie – Sky Sports:

“Senior Sources at NUFC refusing to comment on reports that Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan is close to buying the club from Mike Ashley.

“We understand there has been interest from Sheikh Khaled in a purchase but some way to go for any deal to be agreed.

“There’s something in it.

“I just think we need to be careful given previous attempted takeovers.

“Easy to get carried away when you see the word “Sheikh”.”

Luke Edwards of The Telegraph:

“Lots of calls made and the best I can say is I don’t think a takeover is as close as has been claimed.

“However, club are still refusing to comment so they are not denying it. That means something is going on. More as I get it.”

The Mag – Earlier today (Monday 27 May 2019):

Late Sunday saw breaking news reporting that Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan had agreed to by Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.

With now over 12 years of Mike Ashley’s reign gone by and the club being allegedly up for sale for these past 11 years. little surprise that the reports were met with a mixture of hope and wariness.

Once (or fifty times!) bitten, means it tends to have that affect.

However, the breaking news story from The Sun (see below) did include specific detail, as well as naming the supposed buyer, the report also stated that ‘contracts have been signed and submitted to the Premier League between Ashley and Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.’

This has then been followed up by a report from The Mail (see below), in which they report that they have been in touch with representatives of Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan

Those representatives reported to have said that a deal has been ‘concluded’ by the two parties and formal confirmation is now awaited, with also a commitment to keep Rafa Benitez as manager.

The Mail report:

‘Representatives of a half-brother of Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour claimed on Sunday night that he is on the brink of sealing an extraordinary £350m takeover of Newcastle United.

The closest working associate to Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan told Sportsmail on Sunday night that a deal is ‘concluded’ between Mike Ashley and Sheikh Khaled, an Emirati member of the family who govern Abu Dhabi.

The representatives also insisted that the prospective new owner is very keen to keep Rafa Benitez as manager of the club and that the takeover is expected to be done in time for this summer’s transfer window.’

The Mag – Earlier today (Monday 27 May 2019):

Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United according to reports.

The late Sunday night/Monday morning story has been put out by The Sun and Newcastle fans will be hoping, obviously, that this is the real deal.

The newspaper states that Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle United to Abu Dhabi billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan for £350m.

Sheikh Khaled is the cousin of Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It has been previously reported that he failed in his bid to buy Liverpool for £2bn pounds in 2018.

The report adds that contracts between Mike Ashley and Sheikh Khaled have been signed and submitted to the Premier League.

The Premier League would need to vet and give the go ahead to any change of ownership. Although these days with everything that is going on in both the top tier and the lower divisions, it would be difficult to imagine many circumstances where somebody would be ruled to not be a fit and proper person to own a football club in this country!

When approached by the media, Newcastle United have declined to comment. Which media and fans are taking as a potential big positive, as in the past the club have gone on record and said there was no substance in some previous claimed club sale stories.

The claims in the report of the NUFC sale papers being put forward to the Premier League, should surely see a relatively quick confirmation or denial of at least that part of the story.

As always, you pay money and make your choice in terms of media stories and Newcastle United.

Whilst some people would see it as a negative that the story comes from The Sun, when it comes to bigger stuff like this (as opposed to day to day transfer stories) then they are the most likely tabloid that comes out with bigger stories/exclusives that are on the money on stuff like this. If you remember, it was they who had the photos and story on the infamous Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley curry night out.

Here’s hoping this proves a more interesting and productive Bank Holiday than any of us were imagining.

The Sun report:

‘Mike Ashley has agreed to sell Newcastle for £350million to the cousin of Manchester City’s Arab owner Sheikh Mansour.

SunSport understands contracts have been signed and submitted to the Premier League between Ashley and Dubai-based billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan.

One of the Sheikh’s first jobs will be to tie down manager Rafa Benitez to a new contract.

He is ready to provide funds to bolster a limited squad that has done well to stay in the Premier League after years of underinvestment under Ashley.

Ashley first put the club up for sale in 2008 after Kevin Keegan walked away after a bust-up about transfers…’

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