Newcastle takeover: Sale of Premier League club off as Saudi Arabian group withdraw

The proposed Saudi Arabian-led takeover of Newcastle United has collapsed after the commercial agreement with the club’s current owners expired.

A joint statement from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media consortium that had lodged the £300m takeover bid confirmed that they have withdrawn their offer due to the “unforeseeably prolonged process” to gain approval from the Premier League.

The takeover has been under consideration by the league for an astonishing 17 weeks without resolution, resulting in the agreement between the Investment Group and current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley lapsing and leaving no other choice than to abandon the agreement.

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The statement read: “With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

“We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.

“Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities.”

The statement also issued a thank you to Newcastle supporters who had welcomed the takeover with ferocious adulation, having grown tired of Ashley’s reign in charge.

“We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help,” it added.

“We would like to say that we truly appreciated your incredible expressions of support and your patience throughout this process. We are sorry it is not to be.

“Unfortunately the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable”

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