The Newcastle United takeover saga is dragging on and despite optimism among the fans and the journalists, no one knows what the final outcome will be.
The potential buyers are convinced that the deal will go through. The well-known journalists, who have been covering the saga almost on a daily basis, are also confident, but it seems the Premier League is still not in a position to give their final verdict.
In an exclusive interview with BBC journalist Dan Roan, the Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has commented on the prospective Newcastle United takeover.
Can the Premier League really approve Saudi Arabia’s hugely controversial takeover bid for Newcastle Utd given the questions that surround the deal?
Here’s Premier League chief Richard Masters giving little away when I asked him about it #NUFC pic.twitter.com/WRDSvcEqbI
— Dan Roan (@danroan) May 23, 2020
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 simply awaiting the official confirmation from the Premier League.
Despite claims that those tests have been completed, it seems that is not the case.
Masters has now spoken publicly for the first time. When asked to comment on the prospective Saudi takeover and whether the Premier League could approve a deal when there are questions surrounding human rights and piracy, he said:
“I can’t say anything about it. It’s an entirely confidential process and I can’t say anything to prejudice that process.”
He further added: “Our owners and directors test is what it is, it’s there for everyone to see. We will be talking about this on a confidential basis when we get to these issues.”
The Premier League probably have never faced such complicated takeover bids, and his comments reflect the highly sensitive nature of the deal.
There have been strong protests and objections from various quarters including from some MPs within the country. As of now, it seems there’s no timeline given for the verdict and it seems Newcastle fans may have to wait longer.