Yesterday afternoon, Sheikh Khaled’s Bin Zayed Group released a statement confirming that they have held discussions with Mike Ashley and ‘agreed terms’ over a potential takeover – but a small dose of scepticism has emerged since then.
While their interest has not been denied and the club did confirm that this statement was ‘genuine’, there’s been a few ‘updates’ from Sky and local reporters that suggest the deal is far from done yet.
Firstly, it’s been reported by Sky that despite them agreeing to meet Ashley’s price-tag, Newcastle are yet to see ‘proof of funds’ to show they can pay the £350m.
Keith Downie also reveals that Sheikh Khaled is in fact NOT related to Man City owner Sheikh Mansour – despite claims he was his ‘half-brother’. It’s stressed that this does not mean he won’t then have the money to buy the club, but some are now questioning his actual wealth.
This may not be a problem, and more will no doubt emerge today on Sheikh Khaled’s, but the following developments below have suggested there’s a way to go yet before this takeover can be described as ‘done’.
Then to Luke Edwards, who’s latest piece from the Telegraph suggests the club are ‘sceptical’ that Sheikh Khaled’s bid will lead to a sale – with him agreeing on a price but yet to provide proof of funds.
A recent piece in the Chronicle has insisted that the group have a ‘very good track record’ – so let’s hope any doubts are not warranted and simply reporters erring on the side of caution given how things ended with Staveley and Kenyon.
George Caulkin has also made a valid point regarding yesterday’s statement from the Bin Zayed Group, comparing it to Kenyon’s letter – something which also included a public declaration that they were pushing to get a deal done:
He also rightfully suggests that the takeover interest could well be connected to the delay over a new contract for Benitez.
It’s to be expected, but there’s only so long Rafa can wait when his current deal is due to expire in a matter of weeks.
Let’s hope a positive conclusion comes in the coming days – regarding both Benitez and our potential new owners!