Newcastle United supporters are hoping for a final decision on the club’s takeover.
News broke over three months ago about a prospective £300million deal to buy the club, meaning that the fans have been on tenterhooks ever since.
Amanda Staveley is the figurehead of the Saudi-backed consortium who are said to be leading the charge for the club, with just one final test standing in their way.
The club are currently waiting on a verdict from the Premier League as to whether the £300million deal can go ahead.
That decision was delayed while the World Trade Organisation (WTO) investigated whether Saudi Arabia’s government has been involved in the illegal streaming of sports events.
Saudi Arabia were accused of failing to ‘provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights held by or applied for entities based in Qatar’.
But while supporters continue to wait, world-renowned football journalist Gabriele Marcotti has suggested that a takeover should go ahead if the buying party can offer assurances of working with the Saudi government to bring the matter to a close.
Writing for ESPN, Marcotti said: “The delay is significant and can’t be simply explained away by the fact that the Premier League were busy with Project Restart.
“Ashley’s departure would clearly lift a historically important club and its fan base, which is why so many Newcastle fans are so keen for this takeover to happen. (It’s probably more that than dreams of replicating City’s growth.)
The impression — and it’s just a gut feeling — is that the piracy matter is a bigger stumbling block, and if PIF is willing to work with the Saudi government to make it come to an end, the takeover will come one step closer.
“You also get the impression that Premier League clubs would welcome the deal.
“In the short term, it would inject some liquidity into a league hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but in the medium and long term there is little reason to believe Newcastle will be a threat on the pitch, because of the existing cost controls and safeguards.
“Whether it’s desirable for an authoritarian, un-elected regime to own one-twentieth of one Britain’s biggest and most prestigious brands is another matter.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
While patience is obviously key during such uncertain times, you can hardly blame the Newcastle United fans for growing restless.
For many, a potential announcement of a full takeover is exactly what they’ve been wishing for several years while enduring a turbulent reign under Mike Ashley.
The Sports Direct owner has been a hugely unpopular figure on Tyneside, and that’s why talk of interest from the Saudi-based consortium is such a hot topic of conversation.
But Newcastle fans must still be cautious.
If anyone knows what it’s like to see their club owned by an unpopular figure, it’s Newcastle United fans.
That’s why they must remain patient – after all, the last thing they want is to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
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