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Richard Keys comments on prospective Newcastle United takeover

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Amanda Staveley

Newcastle United are said to be on the verge of having new owners, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund set to complete a £300 million takeover.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley is finally ready to sell, and a 31-page document that confirms that the deal is progressing has already been filed at Companies House.

The English Premier League is currently carrying out its checks under its owners and directors test, and it is believed an announcement could be made before the end of the month or early May.

Newcastle fans are hoping this takeover goes through given their disappointments with several failed attempts in the past, but veteran broadcaster Richard Keys has told them not to get carried away just yet with talk of new ownership.

“The one person who has said nothing about this prospective takeover is the owner (Mike Ashley). He doesn’t like Amanda Staveley. I know that. He thinks she’s a self-publicist. I think the last two or three days have supported that view. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a surprise yet,” the beIn sports presenter said on the Keys & Gray Show.

“He has a figure that he believes it to be worth, I can’t believe that the Saudi Sovereign fund are arguing at the moment between £300 million and £320 million…an extra £20 million…to get this deal done. It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

Ashley was said to be willing to sell Newcastle for £350 million, but it remains to be seen the exact amount the club will finally go for, with £340 million and £320 million doing the rounds.

It appears that PIF are keen to part with only £300 million, and it will be interesting to see if a takeover will finally be gotten over the line.

The Saudi consortium will own 80% of the club’s shares if they successfully become its new owners, with 10% going to Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners while the Reuben brothers own the remaining 10%.