Keith Downie has shared another promising ‘update’ on the prospective Saudi takeover, stating the deal is at the “final knockings” of the process – despite suggestions of a major delay.
The Sky Sports reporter also claims that Ashley and Staveley have ‘kissed and made up’ with each other after a failed attempt to buy the club back in 2018, stating she will be the ‘face of the club’ if and when a £300m deal goes through.
Here is an extract from Downie’s takeover update on Sky Sports, which also insists that it’s not unnatural for this process to take so long – especially in the middle of a global crisis that’s slowing everything down:
“In terms of the takeover going through, we’re pretty much at the final knockings. A lot of spade work has been done, certainly in the last two months, but even more so in the last couple of years.
“We know Amanda Staveley tried to buy the club at the end of 2017 and failed to do so, when it ended quite acrimoniously with Mike Ashley at the time, when he described her as a waste of time.
“Now the two of them have got back together and I’m told by sources on Staveley’s side of things that they’ve kissed and made up, so to speak, that that is water under the bridge now and here we are.
“They have an agreement in place for a £300m takeover of the club by PCP Partners which is the consortium put together by Staveley. She would own 10 per cent of the club if and when it gets ratified. Reuben Brothers, a very wealthy English family – the second wealthiest family in the country – would own 10 per cent too but it would be majority owned by the Saudi PIF fund. They would own 80 per cent of the football club and they would essentially be in charge, although Staveley would be the face of the club on the board.
“That agreement is in place, a deposit has been paid around £17m-£17.5m. It’s now with the Premier League. There are two things to do: it needs to get the thumbs up from the Premier League, which is proving a little bit more difficult than some thought, and then, if and when that happens, it’s a case of the remainder of the funds being transferred to Mike Ashley.
“It’s been with the Premier League for a number of weeks now [for an owners’ and directors’ test] but that can happen, it can take weeks, it can take months. With the current pandemic we’ve got I think that makes it even more difficult to work out when we’ll have a resolution to this.”
It is positive that he remains confident of a takeover – with him suggesting it’s still very close and far from derailed – and also a good sign that Ashley and Staveley have put their differences aside after the latter was called a “time waster” by Ashley in the press.
Most of us, myself included, thought that today might be the day we finally open those #cans, but it looks as though we may have to sit tight a little while yet.
As Downie states, it’s not actually a shock to him that this deal has dragged on up until now – meaning there’s no real need to panic when it comes to timeframes.
The wait is unbearable and only gives those wanting a deal blocked to kick up more of a fuss, but the fact we’re yet to hear news it’s ‘failed’ tells me they’re yet to find anything to say this £300m deal can’t go ahead – and that in itself has to be seen as a positive.