Most of Newcastle United’s players are ‘baffled by what is going on takeover-wise’, Chronicle Live journalist Lee Ryder reports.
A Saudi Arabian-backed consortium had agreed a £300million deal to buy Newcastle in April 2020, only to pull out at the end of June (via BBC Sport).
They were said to have lost patience as the Premier League conducted its owners’ and directors’ test.
The prospects of reviving the deal are in the hands of an arbitration panel which will assess the validity of the league’s concerns.
Meanwhile, Mike Ashley has also launched an anti-competition claim at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Newcastle and their would-be owners are in the midst of a ‘series of attacks’ on the top flight as they demand that arbitration be held in public, rather than privately.
‘Sources close to some of the players‘ have relayed the feeling of confusion within the squad following the return to training.
Manager Steve Bruce is said to have a challenge on his hands as he looks to shift focus away from the external noise and onto their preparations for the new season.
Meanwhile, staff have been told little beyond the fact that the club’s anti-competition claim is ongoing and that there remains no date for arbitration proceedings.
It would be naive to think that Newcastle could separate this dogged off-field battle from footballing matters.
A club needs stability to truly thrive on the pitch, and the lack of it at Newcastle leaves Bruce with a limited transfer budget to elevate his squad anywhere beyond mediocrity.
This is an institution in limbo with a potentially seismic takeover still on the table, and the drawn-0ut process will have become just as exhausting for some of the players as it surely has for many supporters.
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