The Newcastle takeover saga has taken another dramatic twist, as the Saudi Arabian led consortium which wanted to buy the Premier League club has backed out of the deal.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
For months the consortium, which was led by businesswoman Amanda Stavely and backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, had provided details to the Premier League about their takeover plans.
A $390 million deal was agreed with current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley but the Premier League have been investigating the consortium amid issues with Saudi Arabian investment, concerns over human rights and the Middle East nation has also been embroiled in a piracy battle with broadcasters in their own region over Premier League TV rights.
Here is the statement in full from the consortium on their failed Newcastle takeover:
“With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club. We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.
“Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities.”
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
Newcastle’s takeover is OFF ❌
Saudi Public investment fund withdraw from the process to buy Newcastle pic.twitter.com/hkhfOXWLjH
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 30, 2020
It remains to be seen what direction Newcastle head in now as American businessman and TV exec Henry Mauriss has tabled a rival bid which now seems to be the frontrunner.
Until then, Mike Ashley will remain in charge and Newcastle United fans everywhere will no doubt be wondering whether their club will ever be sold.