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Sky Sports insist Newcastle United takeover is nowhere close but BZG say ready to go – Who to believe?

3 years ago

With each passing day, a Newcastle United Takeover is looking like the only thing that could prevent surefire disaster.

No attempt to retain a talented proven manager, key players having left the club (including the two strikers who scored over half of NUFC’s Premier League goals last season), no manager, no signings and five weeks until the season kicks off.

Even a Newcastle United Takeover confirmed today would see an incredible amount of positive decision making to have the team and club in any kind of shape to face the new season, as for that happening without any takeover…

A bit of a media ‘war’ has broken out over the potential takeover.

Those who are believing and positively reporting the Bin Zayed Group (BZG) when they say that they have agreed a price with Mike Ashley and provided proof of funds, as per their statement on 29 May (see below), which backed up The Sun exclusive on 26 May and the first public BZG statement on 27 May.

On the other side of the media war/argument you have Sky Sports and the Chronicle rubbishing talk of the BZG having gone so far in their talks with Mike Ashley. Of course, Sky Sports and the Chronicle are the main media used by Mike Ashley’s people to push out their party line, ‘according to sources close to the club’ etc etc.

Surely though the most interesting thing is that Mike Ashley has never claimed the BZG public statements in May were anything but true, whereas in the past we have seen Ashley quick to do this via an NUFC club statement, when others have made supposed misleading claims of buying Newcastle United.

Peter Redding is a sports presenter at Capital Radio in the UAE (and also a Newcastle fan) and he has provided a number of updates as he is in regular contact with the BZG, regular updates that say/claim that the bid to buy the club is going ahead as far as they are concerned.

Friday saw Peter Redding on Twitter:

‘Contrary to some media outlets reporting there is no bid on the table, the Bin Zayed Group have stated this is “simply not true”.

‘Also pushed them on statement – “Incoming” was all I was told.

‘For the sake of all fans the two parties need to finalise this and communicate.’

However, Sky Sports have rubbished this, with Keith Downie who covers NUFC for the broadcaster saying that no deal has been agreed and that when BZG said they had provided proof of funds to Mike Ashley, it wasn’t true.

Keith Downie via Twitter on Friday in reply to Peter Redding:

“They also stated they’d provided proof of funds when they hadn’t.”

On Saturday morning The Chronicle have once again down the same line of rubbishing claims that BZG are close to taking over:

‘Newcastle United remain for sale and, although the Bin Zayed Group have registered an interest in the club, a takeover is yet to materialise

It is six weeks since the Bin Zayed Group’s interest became public and, following their initial two statements, little appears to have moved forward concerning their efforts to buy the Magpies.

A bid requires a thorough document outlining exactly what has been agreed, and then if accepted a group could reach the ‘exclusivity’ stage of takeover talks.

None of the interested parties who are in talks to buy Newcastle United have yet reached the exclusivity stage.’

Yet again, Newcastle United fans left completely in the dark.

From everything I hear and see, the overwhelming majority of Newcastle fans believe that it is Mike Ashley holding up a Newcastle United Takeover. It is ridiculous to believe that after over a decade of the club supposedly being  up for sale, that it is always the potential buyers who are to blame for no sale happening. With the excuse pushed out by Mike Ashley via willing media usually being buyers not having the necessary money.

Time after time we have been told, even by Ashley’s people, that there are numerous serious people interested, only for nothing to happen.

Even the Chronicle say they know of at least three interested buyers this time, so why is a deal not happening?

It just doesn’t make any sense from a potential buyer’s point of view to drag this out, quite the opposite. To prevent the strong possibility of their new asset instantly halving in value, they need to get into St James Park and do whatever necessary in these remaining weeks to sort a credible manager, prevent more key players leaving and sign essential new players.

Two big things stand out for me.

If a takeover is nowhere near happening as Sky Sports and the Chronicle claim, then surely Mike Ashley should have some time ago released a statement making that clear.

Whilst alongside that, making sure that the squad/club is in a fit state to approach the new season, something which at the moment couldn’t be any further from the truth.

As for the media claiming a move won’t be happening in time to properly influence the new season, they should be launching an all out attack on Mike Ashley and his neglect reaching an all-time low (which takes some doing).

Ashley should be ridiculed and every day they should be demanding the Newcastle United owner goes public to explain exactly what is/isn’t happening and what he is doing about it.

This is an appalling mess and Mike Ashley is as usual the cause of it.

However, the easy ride given to him and his actions/inactions by much of the media is unforgivable.

BZG Statement from MD Midhat Kidwai – 29 May 2019:

“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.”


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