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!