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Jonjo Shelvey comments on Newcastle United takeover



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Jonjo Shelvey

With every passing day, the Newcastle United takeover updates are either getting repetitive or new enquiries are popping up which are threatening to terminate the deal.

A deal in the region of £300 million has been agreed between Mike Ashley and the Newcastle potential owners. A part-payment of £17 million has been paid already, which is non-refundable, while the remaining part will be paid once they get the green signal from the Premier League.

The would-be new owners – Amanda Staveley’s consortium — comprising her company PCP Capital Partners (10 per cent), the billionaire Reuben brothers (10 per cent) and the 80 per cent majority stakeholding of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – are waiting for the Premier League to approve the deal.

One of the major issues that the Premier League will consider here is the problem of piracy in Saudi Arabia. The illegal streaming of top-flight games has long been an issue on UK shores.

Giles Watling MP, a Conservative member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, has called for that select committee to hold an evidence session on Saudi-based piracy of British sport including Premier League football, and there is another MP who will urge the league to block the transfer.

Also, Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khassogi, has written an open letter to the Newcastle fans, warning them that the ownership change can have a disastrous effect on the club. 

It is on this pretext that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is not getting over-excited with the takeover just yet. From previous experience, the Newcastle players know that such deals haven’t materialised in the past.

Interestingly, the players have been kept in the dark by the club. Shelvey says that he has no information about what’s going on internally, and is only keeping up with the news from secondary sources.

At the same time, Shelvey feels that the takeover will mean a lot for the fans, and probably the city. He has also expressed concern that many among the staff have been kept on furlough during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shelvey told the Beautiful Game podcast: “We’re the same as the fans. We don’t know what’s going on. I read the internet or Sky Sports to see if there’s a latest update. We don’t get told anything. If it happens, it happens. To be honest, the club has been in this situation on numerous occasions. That club pays your wages so for me it doesn’t matter who is in charge or whatever, you just go in and do your job every day.

“For the fans they want a change of ownership and if it happens it’d be good for the fans, the club and probably the city. But like I say I’m literally looking every day to see what’s happened. You do see this hashtag #cans everywhere!

“Our group chat is not one to go off. It’s very mellow, to be fair. We don’t know, we find out when the fans find out. It’s a shame that a lot of the staff have been furloughed. We made a donation to the charities and got together with players at the other clubs.”