EPL

Newcastle United takeover off as Saudi-led consortium pulls out

By Sports Desk July 30, 2020

A consortium led by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund has pulled out of a bid to buy Newcastle United.

A proposed £300m purchase of the Premier League club, backed by the PIF, whose chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been withdrawn largely due to the protracted nature of negotiations.

A statement initially carried by Sky Sports News on behalf of the PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, confirmed: "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.

"Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.

"To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.

"As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and proactivity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club.

"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.

"As often occurs with proposed investments in uncertain periods, time itself became an enemy of the transaction, particularly during this difficult phase marked by the many real challenges facing us all from COVID-19.

"We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans, with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its tremendous potential and build upon its impressive and historic legacy while working closely with the local community.

"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.

"We wish the team and everyone associated with it much good luck and success."

Talk of the takeover has rumbled on for some months but the process has been far from smooth.

There has been opposition to the deal from human rights campaigners concerned about Saudi Arabia's welfare practices, while matters were complicated further when the World Trade Organization published a report that found representatives of the Kingdom had facilitated the breach of piracy laws through broadcasting network beoutQ.

BeoutQ has been accused of illegally showing live sport, including Premier League games, with broadcast rights in the Middle East belonging to Qatar-based beIN SPORTS.

According to the BBC, Saudi Arabia appealed against the WTO's decision.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Dortmund adamant over Sancho stay, Barcelona still want Depay Rumour Has It: Dortmund adamant over Sancho stay, Barcelona still want Depay

    Borussia Dortmund are reportedly maintaining a firm stance over Jadon Sancho, while Barcelona still want Memphis Depay.

    The Sancho transfer saga continues to dominate talk as Manchester United chase the Dortmund star.

    But the Bundesliga club are seemingly unmoved.

     

    TOP STORY – DORTMUND ADAMANT SANCHO WILL STAY

    Dortmund are adamant Sancho will not be sold this transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

    United have continued to be linked with the England international, who scored 17 goals and provided 16 assists in 32 Bundesliga games last season.

    However, Dortmund's asking price of £108million (€120m) has reportedly proven to be a stumbling block.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Late in the transfer window, there may still be movement at Barcelona. Sport reports Ronald Koeman still wants Lyon star Depay. It also says Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is close to signing, while Porto are trying to loan midfielder Riqui Puig. Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says Barca will make a new offer for Eric Garcia after Manchester City signed Benfica defender Ruben Dias.

    - Amid uncertainty over Luka Jovic's future at Real Madrid, AS reports LaLiga's champions want the forward to make a loan move. Jovic struggled in his first season at Madrid in 2019-20.

    - There could be more movement at Chelsea. Fabrizio Romano says the Premier League club are still looking at West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as their main target, but will first try to sell players.

    - Antonio Rudiger could be among the exits at Chelsea. Sky Sports reports Tottenham are interested in signing the defender.

    - Talk about Rhian Brewster's Liverpool future continues. The Sun says Sheffield United are offering £17m for the forward and are prepared to agree to a buy-back clause of around £40m. The Blades have failed to score in their first three Premier League games and are second bottom.

    - Lyon are reportedly chasing Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 club offered to take the 23-year-old on a one-year loan with an €18m purchase option, a deal which was rejected. However, it reports Lyon will return with an improved offer.

  • Arteta predicts 'busy' finish to transfer window, has no update on Aouar Arteta predicts 'busy' finish to transfer window, has no update on Aouar

    Mikel Arteta expects a busy finish to the transfer window, but the Arsenal manager had no update regarding Houssem Aouar.

    Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Lyon star Aouar ahead of the transfer window closing on October 5.

    Asked about Aouar after a 3-1 Premier League loss to Liverpool on Monday, Arteta had no update, but he predicted a frantic finish to the transfer period.

    "We don't have any news on new players and either with players that might leave the football club," he told a news conference.

    "It's a week to go, I think it's going to be really busy for other clubs because not much business has been done.

    "Let's see what happens."

    Arteta added: "I think it will be busy for the Premier League. Busy for us, I don't know how it is going to happen."

    Arsenal's loss to Liverpool was their first of the Premier League season and they sit fifth in the table.

  • Aulas sets Friday deadline for Lyon departures amid Depay, Aouar links Aulas sets Friday deadline for Lyon departures amid Depay, Aouar links

    Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has set a Friday deadline for any departures from the Ligue 1 club amid talk about Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar.

    Depay has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, while Aouar is reportedly a target for Arsenal.

    But while the transfer window closes on October 5, Aulas wants any departures from Lyon to be confirmed by Friday.

    "I believe that we will tell the players that for everything that will not be settled in terms of departure before Friday, there will be no departure," he told Telefoot on Monday.

    "For us, the date of the transfer window will be Friday. I think to propose it tomorrow [Tuesday] to Rudi [Garcia, coach] and Juni [Juninho, sporting director].

    "We realise that there is something wrong. It can be that and many other things. Friday, players who have not left will not leave."

    Lyon have made a slow start to the Ligue 1 season, collecting just six points from their opening five games.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.