The Chronicle are reporting that takeover talks have now reached a ‘delicate stage’ between Mike Ashley and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, with the NUFC owner aware he has a ‘big decision to make’.
They claim Ashley is currently at his holiday home in Miami, escaping the negative spotlight he has been attracting in the UK in recent weeks, stating discussions between himself and the Public Investment Fund are ongoing.
The PIF have seized on the economic opportunity the coronavirus has presented in recent days, buying up shares in four major European oil companies, and it is thought they see now as a perfect chance to prise Newcastle United from under the grip of Mike Ashley.
Lee Ryder’s piece also highlights the fact Mike Ashley is yet to knock back talk that he’s ready to sell – despite being handed many opportunities to do so – also confirming that nor the club or the Premier League have denied claims that paperwork for a new owner has now been filed.
That being said, we’ve been here many times before, and if the PIF were serious about buying the club, why haven’t they stumped up the funds already?
This is something the Chronicle also highlight, with them stating that Mike Ashley is also ‘wondering what the hold up is from one of the richest companies in the world‘.
Something is definitely concerning about all this news being leaked if there’s yet to be an ‘official bid’, as Ashley himself said last summer the first we will hear of a sale will be the day that one happens. He has lied in the past, but I believe what he says here from a business sense.
I’m paying devil’s advocate here, but cynicism is inevitable after the number of false dawns we’ve been dealt!