Newcastle United source 'had no idea' about takeover collapse

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The Premier League season is over and that means that preparations can start being made for the new season.

Plenty of clubs are already working tirelessly to identify transfer targets ahead of the season's start date in just over six weeks' time.

It's a big task to be prepared in such a short time frame for any club, but most of all for Newcastle United.

The last four months have been occupied with talk of a potential Newcastle takeover over from the Saudi-backed consortium, fronted by Amanda Staveley.

That deal was resting with the Premier League who were tasked with making a final decision on whether the deal could go ahead - at least that was the case before a major development on Thursday afternoon.

Sky Sports revealed that the buying party had withdrawn their interest in purchasing the club from Mike Ashley, citing 'the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty' as the main reason.

Their statement, as quoted by Sky Sports, read: "With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

"Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.

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"To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.

"As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and proactivity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club.

"Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club's owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities."

The announcement certainly caught supporters off-guard, but it seems that they weren't the only ones.

Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie revealed on Twitter that 'a high level source' at Newcastle United had no idea' that the Saudi-backed consortium were planning to withdraw their interest.

His tweet read: "High level source at #NUFC tells us they had no idea the Saudis were to pull the plug on the deal to takeover Newcastle United today - it’s caught them on the hop."

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

Keith Downie's update is worrying on several levels.

While the collapse of the takeover is clearly awful news for Newcastle United and their supporters, it's the way in which it's happened which will really rub salt in the wounds.

The fact that Downie's 'high level sources' had no idea that the Saudi-backed consortium were planning on withdrawing their interest just makes the whole thing worse.

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Supporters are clearly distraught about the collapsed deal, and frankly they deserve better.

While the overall outcome of the takeover saga perhaps can't be helped, there's no doubt that fans now need a bit of closure in the way of some communication from either the club, the Premier League, or ideally both.

However, whether that will happen or not is up for debate.

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