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Saudi Arabia consortium withdraw their £300 million bid for Newcastle

The Saudi consortium pulled out of the deal this afternoon – 17 weeks after contracts were exchanged.

Mike Ashley still owns Newcastle after today's news that the Saudi deal has collapsed.
Mike Ashley still owns Newcastle after today's news that the Saudi deal has collapsed.
Image: PA

Updated Jul 30th 2020, 5:34 PM

SAUDI ARABIA’S PUBLIC Investment Fund (PIF) have pulled out of their bid to buy Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.

A statement released this afternoon 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.”

It is 17 weeks since contracts were exchanged but today the PIF, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers decided it was time to pull the plug on the deal.

Their statement said: “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.

“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.”

Earlier this week, The Telegraph reported that the deal had reached “deadlock due to concerns over the new ownership structure.”

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Right from the start of the process there was controversy, as PIF had to convince the Premier League that the bid was not linked to the Saudi government.

Their statement concluded: “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.

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

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

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About the author:

Garry Doyle

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