The football world is full of sympathy for Newcastle United supporters right now.
It’s no secret that Mike Ashley is a less-than popular figure on Tyneside, with many fans under the impression that the owner doesn’t have the club’s best interests at heart.
So when the prospect of the Sports Direct mogul selling the club came up, it was only natural that those around the club got very excited.
It seemed that a deal was near when Amanda Staveley and the Saudi Arabian PIF agreed a £300million purchase of the club.
All that was needed was the approval of the Premier League in the form of the owners’ and directors’ test – something which never came.
That led to the the buying party withdrawing their offer for the club, citing ‘the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty’ as the reason.
But as it turns out, this wasn’t the only communication that PIF planned.
17 weeks with no word from the Premier League is a significant amount of time, and it seems that Staveley and co. were growing increasing frustrated at the lack of progress.
According to George Caulkin of The Athletic, this almost led to a ‘gloves off’ confrontation with the Premier League as they looked to force through a deal.
Speaking on the Everything is Black and White podcast, Caulkin explained: “On Tuesday, the consortium trying to buy the club were very close to releasing a statement, and that statement would have been a ‘gloves off’ to the Premier League; calling them out, trying to force the issue back into their court, telling them that constant prevarication, refusing to give a deadline for a decision to be made was unacceptable and throwing it back to them.”
GIVEMESPORT’S Phil Spencer says…
The truth is starting to emerge over what went wrong in the takeover.
With the Premier League taking a staggering 17 weeks to ponder the decision of the deal, it’s no surprise that patience was growing thin from all sides.
Mike Ashley was determined to sell the club, and Amanda Staveley and the PIF were clearly determined to get a deal over the line.
Plenty has been reported over why the process took so long, but while we have some idea of what the issues might have been, it’s hard to know exactly.
What we need is the Premier League to come out with a statement of their own to explain the issues and why the process was so delayed.
To say that Newcastle United fans are furious is an understatement, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to want clarity over what has happened.
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