Noel Whelan has made a rather bold claim about the proposed takeover of Newcastle United as he told Football Insider that “it will happen” despite growing frustrations from Mike Ashley recently.
The Chronicle reported that the CEO of Sports Direct and current owner of the Tyneside club is frustrated by the lack of progress from the Premier League with regards to the Saudi Arabia-funded bid and claims that he has asked for clarity from officials over the constant delays.
As per Football Insider, Whelan believes that Amanda Staveley’s consortium, fronted by her company PCP Capital Partners, will need time to bed themselves in at St James’ Park ahead of the upcoming 2020/21 season.
The prospective deal has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks with regards to the involvement of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), with letters that have been sent to the Premier League by opposition as well as critics.
Whelan has admitted that he never thought the takeover would be as simple but he does understand why some frustration from the likes of Ashley may be growing behind closed doors.
The former Premier League striker told Football Insider:
“Look, this was something where we thought there was going to be the fit and proper person test and once that was ticked off the takeover could happen straight away.
“A lot of things seem to be cropping up at the minute and no one seems to know what’s going on. I still think it will happen, I do, but I think Mike Ashley just wanted to get the deal done as quickly as possible, get the money in the bank and move on.
“I think that’s what Newcastle fans and players were hoping as well because you want the new consortium in place for the start of next season. These last remaining games would have given them a bit of time to bed in, have a look at the players that are already there at Newcastle and make their mind up who they want to keep.
“There’s lots of things that need to happen before the start of next season and the takeover is crucial for both parties to move on and get some clarity to where everyone stands come pre-season next year.
“It was always going to be one of these where it wasn’t going to happen straight away and it was a formality. There have already been people grumbling about the takeover, other clubs not wanting it to happen and rightly so because it would put them in the richest club bracket.
“There’s lots of things that need to be ticked off but I think it will happen. I don’t think it will be one of these takeovers that just dwindles away. I think they’ll push for it.”
Indeed, there have been several obstacles that have stopped the deal from being signed on the dotted line, as Whelan has suggested, but the ex-Leeds player is still convinced that it will go through eventually.
He has also called on members of the Toon faithful to be as patient as possible during these times as they have the return of this season to think about as well, but warned that that should be aiming to get the takeover done by the time it finishes in late July.
Where would Newcastle finish in the Premier League next season after the takeover?
Whelan certainly seems confident that it will get over the line – whether Newcastle fans who have been kept waiting for his weeks share his optimism is another matter.
Geordies, will the takeover be approved before the term finishes? Comment below!
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