Newcastle takeover headlines as Mike Ashley remains open to selling to Saudi consortium

Newcastle takeover headlines as Mike Ashley remains open to selling to Saudi consortium

Mike Ashley is still open to selling Newcastle United to the Saudi-led consortium, according to United’s managing director Lee Charnley.

Elsewhere, the NUST and Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah have led the call for answers from the Premier League.

Here are your top Newcastle United stories for July 31:

NUFC statement

Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley has revealed that the club are still open to selling the club to Amanda Staveley, the Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 07: Sports Direct International founder Mike Ashley arrives to attend a select committee hearing at Portcullis house on June 7, 2016 in London, England

However, the current regime say they are now going to focus on summer recruitment and are believed to be working on their second signing of the summer behind the scenes.

What next for NUFC?

Newcastle United remains on the market with Mike Ashley a willing seller – something that he has sought to emphasise through a rare intervention on Friday.

The club have maintained their counsel through months of speculation, only for today’s statement to reaffirm Ashley’s commitment to the PiF and PCP Capital Partners deal that collapsed on Thursday.

Although there was a late attempt to re-negotiate terms, Amanda Staveley has denied that Ashley was a problem in the sale.

And the Newcastle owner retains a desire to sell the club – to the point where he will facilitate any return to the table for the bidding party.

NUST update

Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust has demanded answers on the ‘scandal’ of the collapsed takeover bid – labelling it a “terrible day” in the club’s history.

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The protracted saga led to PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben brothers and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund withdrawing their offer for the Magpies on Thursday.

Various reports and claims – including an interview with Amanda Staveley – has pointed the blame at the Premier League for the collapse of the deal. However, the league is yet to comment upon the matter.

A poll conducted by the NUST showed 96.7% of members were in favour of a takeover that would have brought Mike Ashley’s 13-year spell at the club to an end.

Chi demands answers

The Premier League’s Richard Masters has been asked to answer five specific points about the failed Newcastle United takeover by one of the city’s Members of Parliament as frustration grow over the drawn-out saga.

The General Election Count at Newcastle Sports Central. Newcastle Central declaration Labour hold, Chi Onwurah

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, has written a strongly-worded letter to Masters after the Saudi-led consortium pulled out of the deal to by United.

Onwurah has called on Masters to be more ‘accountable’ to football fans and raises concerns that the 17-week delay in a decision over the takeover has left the club at a disadvantage, and has seen the city miss out on vital investment.

Jordan’s scathing assessment

Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan has delivered a scathing verdict on Amanda Staveley but believes a takeover deal involving the financier could still be revived.

Mike Ashley (left) and Simon Jordan
Mike Ashley (left) and Simon Jordan

Newcastle fans are calling for the Premier League, and its CEO Richard Masters, to answer questions over why there was such a delay over a decision and Jordan believes these are questions both Staveley, and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley should also be asking.

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Shearer offers hope

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer says ‘we can only hope and pray’ that Newcastle fans will eventually get the takeover they ‘deserve’.

Alan Shearer
Alan Shearer

it is a crushing blow to supporters who pinned their hopes on the potential new regime and former Magpies captain Shearer shared their ‘massive disappointment’.

Finance expert’s verdict

Coronavirus uncertainty doesn’t wash as an excuse for the Newcastle United takeover breaking down.

That is the view of football finance expert Kieran Maguire, who believes the decision to outlaw BeIN Sports in Saudi Arabia offered a sign the would-be owners might have been ‘losing interest’.

Allardyce’s claims on Bruce

Steve Bruce will be ‘glad’ for the clarity and the decision after the Saudi-led takeover bid for Newcastle United was withdrawn.

That’s the view of former Magpies boss Sam Allardyce, who believes the withdrawal now allows the current head coach to concentrate on preparing for his second season in charge.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce (left); and former England and Everton manager Sam Allardyce
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce (left); and former England and Everton manager Sam Allardyce

Allardyce believes Bruce will have welcomed Thursday’s announcement for his own job security with the likes of Rafa Benitez and Mauricio Pochettino linked in the event of a takeover.

The former England and Everton boss reckons the decision also removes any “hesitation” in planning for next season.

MP ‘disturbed’ by abuse

An MP who challenged the Saudi-led Newcastle takeover says he was “disturbed” by the number of supporters who appeared to be prepared to overlook the country’s appalling human rights record if it meant the deal going through.

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The Saudi public investment fund and the other members of a consortium hoping to buy the club announced on Thursday they had withdrawn their offer for the Premier League side, blaming the “prolonged process” for their decision.

John Nicolson, a Scottish National Party MP who sits on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, has questioned DCMS secretary of state Oliver Dowden and Premier League chief executive Richard Masters about the deal at committee hearings in recent months, asking how it could possibly proceed given the country’s human rights record and its links to piracy which was harming the league’s business.

He said he received abuse on social media and was questioned over his allegiances, but found the most worrying aspect to be the willingness to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses.

Howey on takeover collapse

Steve Howey admits he thought this takeover bid was ‘the one’ and has called for the Premier League to give Newcastle fans the answers they deserve.

With a lot of questions and answers in short supply, former Newcastle defender, Howey, has called for the Premier League, and its CEO Richard Masters, to offer some clarity.

“I think there’s anger and huge disappointment. It is devastating really,” Howey told Sky Sports News.

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