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Mark Douglas provides latest update on Newcastle United takeover

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Mike Ashley

It’s been over three months now since the ODT process began regarding the Newcastle United takeover.

Ashley has already agreed a £300m deal to sell Newcastle, and a part payment has already been made, which is non-refundable.

In recent weeks, the likes of Gabriele Marcotti and The Athletic journalist Matt Slater has explained why the issue of piracy is the major stumbling block for the Saudi owners behind the takeover.

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, hinted two weeks back that the Magpies takeover could be concluded shortly. And although the potential new owners have answered all the questions asked by the Premier League and have co-operated with them at every stage, it seems, the Premier League are struggling to come to a decision.

While talking about the Newcastle United takeover situation in a Q/A session with the fans, the Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas has shared the latest information about the process.

While there is objection regarding human rights, piracy remains the big issue. It is the one single problem that could make or break the deal.

He wrote: “I think the Jamal Khassogi issue, the human rights sanctions – they’re not really part of what will make or break this deal. Piracy is the thing that matters and as of yet, there doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory conclusion on it. But it’s encouraging that they are continuing to talk/go back and forth as I think it implies there’s a mutual interest in the deal.

“We’ve had the Government and the Premier League both say there’s been no pressure exerted in public. But I can tell you that there is a very strong suspicion that there has at least been informal discussions and talk through back channels about this deal. Again, that trading relationship adds to the likelihoood this deal happens in my opinion.”

The piracy is indeed a big issue regarding the takeover, but there is also a feeling that eventually, the Premier League will give the green signal.

The potential owners – 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 confident about the deal, and the Premier League would probably see the bigger picture here and try to make it work for everybody.

Having said that, it may require the potential owners to change their attitude and show something substantial to the Premier League that they are indeed serious about tackling piracy in KSA.