After talks between Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, Amanda Staveley (the broker of the deal) and Newcastle United were confirmed, Downie – Sky Sports’ North-East reporter – has suggested that the next few days will be ‘critical’.
He states that due diligence is at an ‘advanced stage’, but reveals that Newcastle’s stance this afternoon was that of slight surprise, with them questioning why details of a potential deal were leaked both A) on a matchday and B) if/when a deal is so close:
“The next few days are critical in terms of whether the deal will get over the line.
“Due diligence is at an advanced stage and if it comes off, this would be the biggest move into professional sport by Saudi Arabia so far.”
It does concern me slightly that there’s been leaks – Mike Ashley always said it’ll be announced out of the blue before rumours emerge if a takeover was ever going to happen – but should this really scupper a potential £340m deal?
They’ve clearly got the money to do a deal and Mike Ashley clearly (and finally) has an interested party that are capable of taking the club places, so this will be yet another test of his true colours.
If he really wants out, this is his chance.