An interesting revelation has been shared on a past Newcastle United takeover attempt.
The Lowdown: Arbitration looms
The arbitration case between the St. James’ Park faithful and the Premier League is set to take place in July over the failed deal between Mike Ashley and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consortium.
Is the KSA takeover of Newcastle over?
However, this is not the only takeover attempt in the North East during Ashley’s reign, as other parties have looked to buy the Tyneside club off of the hands of the chief executive of Sports Direct.
The Latest: Past takeover attempt
Speaking to Tribal Football (via The Chronicle), Brett Johnson, who is now the owner of Ipswich Town, has shared that a consortium that he was part of was close to taking over from Ashley at the Magpies.
The American businessman claimed that the consortium would have held a minority stake within a full buy-out and the deal was ‘fraught with complexities’.
This took place ‘a couple of years ago’ – long before the KSA group tried and failed with a takeover attempt at NUFC, although a successful arbitration hearing could result in that being put back on track.
Johnson also claimed that his own group had ‘raised some money’ for a potential deal, and added that ‘from our point of view, the value of the exercise was that we did a substantial amount of due diligence, we were able to bring together a bunch of financial sponsors behind our stake in that club’.
The Verdict: Interesting revelation
It is no doubt interesting to hear of other takeover attempts at Newcastle given that the KSA consortium are currently dominating the headlines on that front.
Although there is presumably now no chance of Johnson’s group taking over at St. James’ Park, given that he is currently the owner of Ipswich, the Toon Army will be intrigued to hear just how close he was.
Now, any hope of a takeover in the North East lies in the results of the arbitration hearing, as the Magpies will be hoping that it goes in their favour, and thus brings the potential revival of the original bid one step closer.
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