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‘Scepticism in City of London’ as to whether Newcastle United Takeover is in place – Sunday Times

4 months ago

Whether this Newcastle United Takeover is going to happen, has swamped everything else.

Newcastle fans and media would have otherwise been solely focused on Rafa Benitez’ position, with only 16 days now to go until his contract expires.

As to the usual transfer window intensity, that has hardly even registered, supporters and journalists clearly not seriously behaving that anything significant will happen until ownership and the manager’s position are sorted.

After the initial flurry of public statements from the Bin Zayed Group, they ave now adopted a position of not making public comments about the progress, or not, of the bid.

Newcastle fans are a swirling mix of hope and scepticism, little wonder after these past 12 years of false dawns on seeing the back of Mike Ashley.

Interesting one here from Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles who has talked about ‘…scepticism in the City of London as to whether a deal [to buy the club] was actually in place.’

Other journalists have suggested as this week closes that it isn’t necessarily just about the Bin Zayed Group (BZG), that there are other parties Mike Ashley’s people are talking to, that talks are ongoing and that messages are going back and forwards with the BZG and other so far [anonymous] bidders.

As it stands for Newcastle fans, we have heard countless times when takeover talk has surfaced in the past, of lists of serious mystery bidders also interested and have even done due diligence allegedly, but who then later disappear into thin air where the media are concerned and are never named.

So it stands to reason that for supporters our focus is pretty much exclusively on the BZG, their public statements giving what appeared a clear path to a summer takeover, if everything went ok.

The Sunday Times scepticism about this particular BZG bid being a longshot, will surely be based around money, isn’t everything.

They have stated categorically that they want to buy the football club but do they have the cash to do so?

I think a lot rests on that public statement from Midhat Kidwai, when he stated that proof of funds to buy Newcastle United had been supplied to Mike Ashley on 17 April 2019.

If that is indeed true, we can have room for optimism that things could be progressing well behind the scenes, with the potential of an announcement at any time, which will surely be how this silence will be broken. Whether for better or worse remains to be seen.

As for the claim by the man from The Sunday Times, that he knows Jose Mourinho definitely is interested if Newcastle United are taken over by a wealthy owner. I can 100% believe that one, though with his recent transfer dealings [spent as much at when at Man Utd as Man City were spending] I don’t think any football club owner has enough cash to make up for his shortcomings these days when identifying signings.

Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles speaking on The Transfer Window podcast:

“I can tell you, Jose Mourinho is interested to find out whether there is a possibility of Newcastle United being bought by a wealthy owner.

“If it [Newcastle United] was, he would be interested in finding out whether that is an opportunity for him to manage again.

“I think it [a Newcastle United Takeover] is a longshot.

“For the reasons that we explained when we talked about that [Newcastle United] bid.

“That has been presented from a distant, relatively distant member of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

“That we had scepticism in the City of London as to whether a deal [to buy the club] was actually in place.”


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