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Opinion

Newcastle United takeover happens even if Saudis fail as ‘absolutely serious’ rival waits – Henry Winter

4 weeks ago
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Henry Winter is arguably the best and most reliable national football journalist around.

Chief Football Writer at The Times, Winter has regularly over the years called out Mike Ashley for his running of the club and taken the side of the fans, repeatedly saying that Ashley has to sell Newcastle United.

Whilst he isn’t a paid up member of the Newcastle United fanbase, he does have a lot of affection for the club, the supporters and the region.

At the end of April he revealed via his twitter account:

“Two American groups still interested in buying Newcastle United.

“Both have the requisite funds.

“Saudi bid (with Staveley and the Reubens) looks well-advanced though.”

With the Newcastle United takeover saga still not resolved, Henry Winter has returned to the subject on 4 June 2020 via Twitter:

“Lot of stories around the Newcastle United takeover.

“Saudis remain favourites; ££ talks loudest with PL; Staveley/Reubens bring credibility.

“Newcastle fans deserve a decision.

“NB: US group with GB ties, who have long-term interest in Club, who have funds in place, watching delay with keen interest.

“If there’s any consolation for Newcastle fans in this unfair delay, is the club will be sold because of level of interest.

“Saudis obviously leaders in the clubhouse.

“The Americans I know (not Mauriss’ lot, I don’t know them) are absolutely serious. NUFC prized. Stay safe.”

I understand the frustrations of fans and not knowing what to believe, especially due to the vast majority of media reporting around the Newcastle United takeover, most of it embarrassing and with no basis in truth / reality.

However, it is important to acknowledge when credible people come out and speak about what they know.

Just like George Caulkin (The Athletic, formerly working for The Times), Henry Winter is worth listening to and this isn’t the usual clickbait you get from (vast majority of) the rest,  he will be saying what he knows.

This doesn’t mean that 100% what he says will happen BUT I do believe him when he says he has knowledge of a credible serious bidder from the States (not Henry Mauriss) who are ready to step in if the Saudi bid fails, for whatever reason.

I think more than anything, why this time is different, is that unlike the previous 13 years, Mike Ashley is now finally willing to sell Newcastle United. THAT has been what has stopped NUFC being sold down the years, you need a willing seller above everything else and Ashley has just pretended he was willing to do so.

Now however, for whatever reasons (virus pandemic, worst ever recession, his retail empire struggling, needs money for other things, having to give 10,000 season tickets away and knows the game is up etc etc) Mike Ashley is a willing seller and the agreed deal (waiting for PL approval) with the Saudis is proof of that.

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