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Claims of Saudi Arabia back for Newcastle United takeover but different model – Report

5 months ago

The Newcastle United takeover talk recently, has almost all centred on legal action.

The Premier League confirming Mike Ashley has made a legal move against them regarding how the attempted takeover was handled earlier this year.

Whilst a group of fans (NCSL) have also threatened legal action, claiming the Premier League have broken anti-competition laws.

Whilst fans welcome anything that might bring a Newcastle United takeover a step closer, it is very difficult to see anything that Mike Ashley and / or the fans might achieve via legal actions, being enough on its own to bring about a change of ownership.

Fair to say that pretty much all Newcastle United supporters believe the Premier League didn’t act totally correctly, to say the least, when given the Newcastle United takeover to put through their processes.

However, at the same time, many of those same Newcastle fans would also accept that the route the Saudis took to try and complete the deal, wasn’t ideal either.

Interesting then to see this latest take on what might or might not be happening behind the scenes.

Luke Edwards of The Telegraph via Twitter – Friday 11 December 2020:

“Hearing strange rumours that Saudi Arabia are back in for Newcastle United but are not going to do it through PIF.

“It could be a private individual rather than an obvious state backed purchase.

“File this in the red herring category for now but it’s interesting and been around for a while.

“This rumour has been around for a few weeks now but I can’t get it confirmed.

“But it is interesting and I heard it again today.”

The claims (fact?) that Newcastle United would effectively be state-owned, were at the heart of the disputed takeover.

So if indeed a different proposal was put forward, whereby any Saudi part (or whole) of the deal was an individual instead of the PIF (Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund), no reason why a Newcastle United could / would be blocked. Depending of course on who that individual was, just as is / was the case with the current owner of Sheffield United.

The Saudi involvement led to Mike Ashley receiving an offer far in excess of what the club is actually worth at market value. This ending over a decade of him pretending he was trying to sell the club.

What has become abundantly clear is that this looks a unique set of circumstances that would see Newcastle United and Mike Ashley part company. Ashley only prepared to sell if getting far more than the club’s actual worth, with the Saudis the only ones prepared to pay that over the top price.

No normal business people are going to pay far more than a business is actually worth and the fact Mike Ashley appears to be still solely fixated on the Saudi interest, backs that up.

In fairness to Luke Edwards, he is playing this one tentatively and not claiming the club is definitely going to be sold in the near future.

However, if as widely reported both Mike Ashley and the Saudis do still want to get this Newcastle United takeover done, then here’s hoping that behind the scenes there are indeed moves going on to try and put together a framework on a bid that the Premier League would have no reasonable objections to.


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