Henry Mauriss set to swoop in as Saudi consortium lose takeover ‘exclusivity’ – Luke Edwards

A new piece on the takeover front has arrived from The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards this afternoon, and it raises more questions than answers.

He writes that US tycoon Henry Mauriss has now ‘stepped up’ his pursuit of Newcastle United now the Saudi-backed bid has seen their ‘exclusivity rights’ expire.

Edwards claims that the Amanda Staveley backed consortium are still ‘confident’ they’ll seal a deal, but says they are no longer the only party Mike Ashley can sell to and that the expiration of their ‘exclusivity‘ period (from the four month delay!) has allowed Mauriss to step in.

Now, there’s no doubting that the ridiculous time it’s taken for this bid to be passed by the Premier League is a real concern, but this doesn’t quite add up from Edwards. Just look at what The Athletic’s George Caulkin said back in May when the subject of ‘exclusivity’ came up:

“Exclusivity is irrelevant now that a deal has been signed because everything has been signed off apart from the regulatory approval and the money changing hands.”

It’s been widely reported that the Staveley and the Saudis have already signed contracts, with it seeming absolutely clear that they and only they will be the new owners of Newcastle United if the Premier League approve the current bid on the table.

Mauriss may be waiting in the wings IF the Saudis are rejected – that’s fine and understandable after the deal has been plunged into doubt on numerous occasions over the past few months – however he is surely absolutely powerless and unable to ‘hijack’ this deal now it’s a money transfer away from being done should the Premier League give them the green light. Instead, surely this can only be seen as a ‘back up’ option and nothing more until this Saudi saga is concluded one way or another.

Nevertheless, Edwards says Mauriss will give Steve Bruce a chance to prove himself at Newcastle United should he somehow buy the club at the end of all of this, saying his team has put together a ‘detailed project plan’ which includes the injection of extra funds to improve our current first team squad.

The door may be open for Mauriss if the Premier League say no to the Saudis, that is obvious, but these claims that he can hijack a deal that is too far on for him to impact just seem ludicrous.

Surely it’s now only the Premier League who can stop this bid – not a US media man who nobody knows a thing about!

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

5 thoughts on “Henry Mauriss set to swoop in as Saudi consortium lose takeover ‘exclusivity’ – Luke Edwards

  1. Edwards writes as though he has seen the purchase agreement signed by Ashley and the PIF, I doubt he has so he is at best assuming there is an exclusivity period set out in the document.

    The purchase agreement is a binding contract that will obligate the buyer to purchase the club for the price and terms agreed upon in the document so I would doubt there is such a period set out.


  2. Mauriss is a much more attractive buyer to the football world as he is unlikely to invest much more than Ashley so keeps NUFC in their place.
    I would note that if the Saudi’s were buying Manure it would have been done weeks ago and Sky Sports would be covering the benefits of Saudi ownership 24/7…


  3. You are not wrong mate… But this take over is dragging on and undoubtedly it would be too late or nothing can come to a conclusion… As it drags on I just think what excuses they would come up with each time


  4. While everyone likes to think nothing can be done because contracts have been signed there is a basic requirement for the buyers to pass the EPL tests. The buyers have not passed those tests.

    Just think about it – what happens if they continue not to pass those tests? Do we just sit and wait ad infinitum? No. There is a requirement for them to pass those tests within a reasonable time period, if this does not happen Ashley can move on. He can not be expected to be held in limbo waiting for the Saudis to cave to pressure on broadcasting rights – something that we have said for a long time that they would never do.
    MBS is way above being manipulated by the EPL and will not be dictated to for the sake of buying a football club that costs less than one of his cars. That would just be too embarrassing for him.


  5. BykerBill:
    There is a requirement for them to pass those tests within a reasonable time period

    They have to pass the owners’ test but the EPL stipulate no timescale in it’s rules so I doubt there is a requirement in the sale agreements that it has to be passed “within a reasonable time period” as that is not enforceable given the lack of timescale within the test’s rules. Bear in mind the Southampton deal took 8 months so in comparison, this is still at the early stages!

    If they fail the test the bid is dead, that will be included but the only other way the deal can be taken off the table at this stage is if both parties agree to walk away, even then I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess as to whether this is legally possible.


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