In a new piece summarising the statement made by Mike Ashley / Newcastle United on Thursday afternoon, The Athletic have revealed that the Saudi PIF are now ‘determined as ever’ to resurrect a takeover on Tyneside.
The same report also states that, while the buying side referenced COVID-19 uncertainties as one of their reasons for ‘pulling out’, the key reason behind their temporary withdrawal was because they “exasperated” by the never-ending Owners and Directors test that felt “impossible” to overcome.
In an official statement, the club confirmed rumours that they are in a legal battle with the Premier League over the failed takeover, which collapsed at the end of July.
They assert that a letter sent to NCSL two days ago breached a confidentiality agreement about the behind the scenes proceedings, allowing themselves to go public and inform the supporters about what is going on.
Interestingly, the statement revealed that they are pursuing arbitration, a route that was actually recommended by the Premier League when the original deal broke down.
The Athletic have summarised the current state of play in their latest piece. They have had good links to the takeover with writer George Caulkin remaining in close contact with Amanda Staveley ever since she first became interested in buying Newcastle back in 2017.
Here is a snippet from their latest piece, revealing how the Saudis are still fully focused on NUFC:
“The Athletic understands that the Saudis remain as determined as ever to buy Newcastle, despite having officially withdrawn the bid in July.
“Although the public reason offered for the takeover collapsing was the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, privately the prospective buyers became exasperated by the test, a process they argued had become impossible to navigate successfully.
“Issues involving piracy and the PIF’s links to the Saudi state stalled the takeover, and the consortium rejected the Premier League’s offer of arbitration on a solitary point of control, instead pulling out before the test was concluded.
“Subsequently, Ashley and the consortium have been working to resurrect the deal, including by exerting pressure through political and now legal avenues.”
Who knows what happens from here – the legal battle may end in tears and end all hopes of a takeover being resurrected – but it’s absolutely key that the Saudis remain committed; and it seems they aren’t going anywhere just yet.