Newcastle United will be ‘locked in purgatory’ if the club is defeated in its arbitration proceedings against the Premier League, according to the Chronicle Live’s Mark Douglas.
Last year, Mike Ashley agreed a £305million deal to sell Newcastle to a consortium led by Amanda Staveley.
But the buyers ostensibly pulled out of the deal having grown frustrated with the Premier League’s lengthy owners’ and directors’ test (via BBC Sport).
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund would have taken over an 80 percent stake, and there were concerns over alleged human rights abuses and TV piracy (via The Athletic).
In a bid to resurrect the deal, Ashley has taken the matter to arbitration – an independent panel will assess the validity of the Premier League’s concerns this summer.
Douglas was asked in a fan Q&A what is currently happening with the proposed takeover.
He admitted ‘the future of the club’ is at stake when arbitration commences in July.
If Newcastle, who have a ‘heavyweight legal team’ at their disposal, win the case, then the takeover will be ‘unlocked’.
But if they don’t, the club remains in limbo as it awaits a further competition appeal tribunal case come the end of the year.
However, he did offer reassurances that there’s ‘no sign’ of PIF or PCP Capital Partners abandoning the deal and looking to another club.
Ultimately, the uncertainty will continue ‘for a bit longer’, but Douglas confirms the groups involved in the potential takeover are not going anywhere at the moment.
It’s encouraging for Newcastle that Mike Ashley is willing to fight tooth-and-nail to get this deal through, regardless of his ulterior motives.
Of course, Ashley’s desires to sell won’t matter one iota if PIF and PCP grow frustrated and walk away, so Douglas’ latest comment should count as massively reassuring to the Toon Army.
In the short-term, though, there’s probably another season of lower mid-table mediocrity in the offing, with Ashley surely unlikely to commit significant funds for transfers this summer when he’s so keen to sell.
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