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Newcastle United takeover – Premier League and the club give same reply when challenged

2 months ago
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The Newcastle United takeover rumbles on.

Or at least the media coverage does.

A very strange situation has developed and I suppose after 12 years of nonsense under Mike Ashley, we should have assumed that if/when he does leave, it would be nothing other than messy.

Since the news first broke on Sunday night of a Newcastle United takeover supposedly set to happen, not surprisingly the media have been trying to get information on progress and indeed, whether the story stands up.

With the media probing, the Bin Zayed Group have chosen and/or felt obliged to back up their position.

With another statement (see below) released by their MD Midhat Kidwai on Wednesday, when he stated:

‘Terms have been agreed between us and Mike Ashley; these terms have been reflected in a document, signed by both parties, which has been forwarded to the Premier League.

“The proof of funds statement was forwarded to Mike Ashley’s lawyers on 17 April 2019.

“The so called fit-and-proper Premier League process is a standard procedure which will take time, and we are doing all we can to assist the Premier League during this process.”

In response to all the uncertainty and understandable demand by Newcastle fans for clarity, The Telegraph say they have repeatedly asked Newcastle United/Mike Ashley’s people to clarify for the situation…and repeatedly they have refused to do so.

Looking for a third angle that could give some potential insight, The Telegraph approached the Premier League to ask them what exactly has or hasn’t happened.

Earlier on Tuesday other media reported that the Premier League were looking into it to find out exactly what the position was with regard to them having  been involved so far. However, nothing was forthcoming in the end.

Indeed, now The Telegraph say the Premier League ‘would not provide a “running commentary on a takeover that may or may not happen.” Adding that it was up to Newcastle to either confirm or deny whether the club was going to be sold.’

So basically a no comment from both the Premier League and Mike Ashley, whilst the potential buyer is giving more or less blow by blow commentary indicating it is only a question of time until they assume control, once the formalities have been completed.

Absolutely no excuse for the club (Mike Ashley) to refuse to make no comment whatsoever, the very least they should be doing is putting out a holding statement to reassure Newcastle fans that things are progressing towards a likely sale.

The need for reassurance is especially so when this is all tied up as well with uncertainty over Rafa Benitez’ position and the small matter that we have already reached the 15th day of the summer transfer window.

The Telegraph report:

‘A group trying to buy Newcastle United have not only insisted their interest genuine, but they say they have already provided proof of funds to show they can match the £350m asking price and have submitted the relevant paperwork to the Premier League ahead of completing a takeover.

Although sources close to the club continue to privately deny that is the case and claim Newcastle’s owner, Mike Ashley, is yet to receive an official bid, they have not publicly denied anything said by the Bin Zayed Group this week.

Neither have the Premier League, who told Telegraph Sport on Wednesday afternoon they would not provide a “running commentary on a takeover that may or may not happen.” Adding that it was up to Newcastle to either confirm or deny whether the club was going to be sold.

Amid the confusion, there is no doubt Sheikh Khaled’s Bin Zayden Group have raised the stakes dramatically, effectively saying talks are so well advanced that they are waiting for the Premier League to confirm they pass its Fit and Proper Person’s Test for new owners before completing the takeover.

At no stage in those (contract) discussions (on 16 May) with Benitez, did Ashley indicate a takeover was close to being agreed and the club have repeatedly insisted to the Spaniard since news of the Bin Zayed Group’s interest emerged that it is business is usual as they look to begin their summer recruitment.

Benitez has still not signed a contract extension and has had no contact with anyone from the Bin Zayed Group, even though they are thought to be desperate to keep him.

Newcastle have refused to comment on the latest statement despite repeated attempts by Telegraph Sport to clarify the situation.’

The statement from Midhat Kidwai yesterday (Wednesday 29 May):

“In consideration of the numerous speculations in regards to the timelines of the acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club by Bin Zayed Group, we feel the need to issue this statement.

“Terms have been agreed between us and Mike Ashley; these terms have been reflected in a document, signed by both parties, which has been forwarded to the Premier League.

“The proof of funds statement was forwarded to Mike Ashley’s lawyers on 17 April 2019.

“The so called fit-and-proper Premier League process is a standard procedure which will take time, and we are doing all we can to assist the Premier League during this process.

“We feel the need to clarify this point in order for the fans and the general public to understand the timelines.”

The statement from Midhat Kidwai on Monday 27 May 2019:

“In response to numerous reports in the world media this morning, we would like to comment as follows.

“We can confirm the representatives of his Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club.

“We view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.

“We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.

“Best Regards, Midhat Kidwai, Group Managing Director, Bin Zayed Group.”

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