Newcastle: Mike Ashley trying to 'personally' resurrect Saudi-led takeover deal

Silence from Premier League on why deal failed continues, as MP complains of "utter secrecy" and failure to communicate with fans

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman
Image: Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman

Sky Sports News has been told Mike Ashley remains in dialogue with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) and its partners over the potential takeover of Newcastle United.

Newcastle owner Ashley is understood to be personally trying to resolve the situation and is 100 per cent committed to finding a way to get the takeover back on.

That is despite continued silence from the Premier League and the fact the would-be owners walked away from a deal to buy the club last week, stating the length of time it has taken for a resolution on the matter.

MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, was one of 40 MPs who wrote to the Premier League last week demanding an explanation as to why the takeover failed.

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Former Newcastle defender Steve Howey says the club's fans want answers after the Saudi-backed consortium's attempt to buy the club failed

He says none of them have had a reply, complaining about the fact the process is shrouded in "utter secrecy".

"We haven't had any response whatsoever, not even an acknowledgement of receipt from the Premier League," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's 19 weeks going on 20. What an affront that is to football supporters in general, not just Newcastle United.

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"Is there something we're not aware of? Who are the influencers? What decisions have been made regarding this takeover?"

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The Newcastle United Supporters' Trust have written to the Premier League to ask for a meeting after the proposed takeover of the club fell through

Lavery also indicated the MPs who wrote to the Premier League will not let the matter rest.

"Regardless of what happens here, if we don't get a result from the Premier League in terms of some sort of statement or explanation then I think we need to consider further options, which might be to raise it via an adjournment debate in the House of Commons," he said

"We could [alternatively] raise it with the DCMS Select Committee. So, this might just be the catalyst which means that football supporters nationwide might be invited in through the doors to be involved in the decision-making process."

More than 104,000 fans have also signed a petition asking for answers. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also got involved over the weekend, calling on the Premier League to release a statement on why the takeover failed.

The Premier League has declined to comment on this story after being contacted by Sky Sports News.

Staveley 'heartbroken' after collapse of takeover

Amanda Staveley was part of a consortium proposing to takeover Newcastle United
Image: Amanda Staveley was part of a consortium proposing to takeover Newcastle United

Amanda Staveley, whose firm PCP Capital Partners were at the centre of the takeover bid, described herself as "heartbroken" in an interview with The Times newspaper, following the collapse of the deal.

She was critical of the Premier League for not approving the takeover and blamed other clubs for opposing it.

Asked if the Saudi-backed consortium blamed the Premier League for the collapse of the deal, she replied: "Of course we do. They had a chance, they say we have not answered all the questions and we have done so.

"But the other clubs in the Premier League didn't want it to happen.

"We are so heartbroken for the Newcastle fans as the investment that was going to go into the club, especially with everything happening with Brexit and Covid, would have been so important. This is catastrophic for them.

"It has been going on for so long and the opportunity was there."

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