Newcastle United journalist delivers Mike Ashley update amid helicopter sighting

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Supporters continue to face an anxious wait as a decision over Newcastle United'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.

There's been plenty of speculation as to why such a delay has occurred, with many suspecting that the Premier League could have doubts over a deal.

That delay is in part due to the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) investigation into 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'.

This relates to the blocking of beIN SPORTS and the Kingdom's links to beoutQ, which simulcasted the Qatar-based channel's broadcasts.

Such a delay in a decision has cast doubt on whether a deal will finally be completed, with some suggesting that Mike Ashley may have to continue running the club over the coming months.

Ahead of Newcastle United's draw with West Ham United, some supporters claimed to see Ashley's helicopter on Tyneside leading to speculation that the elusive figure was in attendance at the game, however according to Chronicle Live's Lee Ryder, that was not the case.

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Clarifying the reason why Ashley's helicopter was spotted on Tyneside, Ryder said: "Ashley is believed to be in the United States but his close aide Justin Barnes has been in the stands in recent matches.

"The helicopter's journey to Tyneside is usually used to transport the current owner's guests to matches but there was nothing significant about it being in the area today as the club still belongs to the Sports Direct magnate.

"Any suggestions that calls are being made on player contracts and signings by the would-be buyers are thought to be off target with managing director Lee Charnley and Bruce making football decisions at the moment."

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 amid the takeover uncertainty.

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.

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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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