As we all know, things have gone incredibly quiet regarding a potential Saud-based buyout – something that could prove to be positive, yet a sudden shift that stinks of this being another false dawn that’ll totally fizzle out.
In a bid to shed light on the current situation, Caulkin admits that both parties ‘lost trust’ in each other after the story was leaked to the Wall Street Journal in January, but insists that talks are ongoing and that a breakdown in relations appears to have been repaired.
He stresses that this latest saga is NOT a ‘conspiracy or publicity stunt’, but does accept why cynicism exists amongst Newcastle United fans – admitting that doing a deal with Mike Ashley is never straightforward.
Here’s the question George Caulkin was asked a few days ago by a NUFC fan, with his response for the Athletic shown in the quotes below:
Q: “It’s all gone quiet on takeover chat again. Another case of waiting until the season-ticket renewal deadline passes before the club officially rubbishes it?“
‘Firstly, it was quiet before the big Wall Street Journal leak in January and quiet is how it should have remained. Quiet is not a bad thing when it comes to takeovers. As feared, what the explosion of publicity did was make all sides feel defensive and lose a bit of trust. That appears to be repaired now and talks are ongoing. I know enough about the people concerned to be happy that this isn’t either a conspiracy or a publicity stunt, but nor does that mean it will be successful and because there are so many parties involved, it makes for a convoluted level of legal intricacy.
‘The last decade and more have shown us that buying Newcastle from Mike Ashley is not a straightforward prospect and I told myself a long time ago to treat every new bid with cynicism. I think it’s important for everybody to get on with their lives and that’s definitely what I’m doing.
‘On that subject, something which is still uncertain at the moment is what effect, if any, the coronavirus will have. Is buying a football club a prudent thing to do when economies are suddenly struggling and nobody knows what’s going to happen next? I don’t have the answer to that question at the moment, but it feels like a decent one to ask.’
There won’t be many Newcastle United fans out there that genuinely believe this is going to happen – and rightly so – but it is worth noting that the silence and lack of daily updates on a potential deal is not necessarily a negative thing.
First and foremost, let’s hope the coronavirus pandemic eases in the coming weeks and football can resume, with these key issues needing to be addresses and overcome before any takeover on Tyneside can be seriously considered.