After months of waiting for some form of substantial update on the Saudi takeover front and hearing nothing, it’s easy to see why every single development at NUFC is scrutinised by fans.
The latest bit of movement comes after the club announced this morning that a ‘new long-term agreement’ has been reached to keep FUN88 as our primary partner.
Many have responded to the above post with “this must mean the takeover is off?!” and some sections of NUFC Twitter have gone into meltdown, believing this will be the straw that breaks that camel’s back for the Saudis, however the Shields Gazette’s Liam Kennedy has since responded to bring some sense to the situation.
Here’s what he’s had to say, with his comments being well worth reading before fans see the news and jump to conclusions:
“On first assessment by many the Fun88 news doesn’t look good for #NUFCTakeover. But as with any deals done at NUFC, club needs a shirt sponsor, new players, new contracts etc with Saudi deal dragging out.
“Sounds like framework of extension largely worked out before Mike Ashley gave up on NUFC earlier this year, as with Puma deal. Ashley/Charnley etc didn’t expect to be here in May, never mind July into August.
“Obviously any new owner will want to get their own deals done re sponsors, etc. And will do that. But with no suggestion #NUFCTakeover is ‘imminent’ or a decision made ‘shortly’ club has to get ball rolling with new season a month away.
“As I mentioned last week in a piece, NUFC are operating like ‘business as usual’ largely. And have to. At risk of sounding like #NUFCTakeover ‘happy clapper’ this could be as much a deal breaker as Manquillo’s three-year deal, or any transfer struck in this state of limbo.
“Truthfully, who knows what the PL are thinking re the #NUFCTakeover. But NUFC needs to continue to operate and it’s a positive (to me) the current lot understand that. And don’t forget, as with majority of commercial deals, this will likely have breaks for both parties.
“So let’s try not keep jumping off a cliff with the smallest bit of NUFC news and refer it to #NUFCTakeover knock-back or otherwise. It’s hard, I get that. It’ll happen, or it won’t. And that’s in the hands of the PL.”
I understand the concerns, but this seems like an overreaction to a deal that has A) probably been agreed for some time and B) needed to be secured now we’re close to the start of a new season / the time we’d unveil a new kit, especially when a Saudi buyout has yet to be approved
The truth is that no one knows exactly what’s going on, however I don’t buy this wild argument that a takeover is suddenly “off” because we’ve committed to a sponsor they may not approve of.
In reality, they may not approve of the Mark Gillespie signing or a new deal for Manquillo in an ideal world, but after a takeover that was meant to take FOUR weeks has now dragged into its FOURTH month, I’m sure both sides will be aware that compromises are needed to safeguard the clubs future.
‘Business as usual’ doesn’t mean a takeover is off. It’s simply a club continuing to operate as they should until the Premier League make a decision.