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Newcastle chief Lee Charnley insists £300m Saudi Arabian-backed takeover bid may not be dead in the water

NEWCASTLE chief Lee Charnley insists the Saudi Arabian-backed deal may not be dead in the water.

The Magpies have been silent ever since a £300m deal was agreed with owner Mike Ashley in April.

But this morning, MD Charnley said “never say never”, and reiterated that Ashley is determined to sell up.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers dramatically withdrew their offer on Thursday.

They lay the blame squarely at the door of the Premier League for taking so long, as well as jealous Prem rivals.

And Charnley said: “We acknowledge yesterday’s statement.

“Never say never, but to be clear Mike Ashley is 100 per cent committed to this deal (sale).

“However our current focus must now be on supporting Steve Bruce in the transfer market and on the preparations for the new season.”

Earlier this week, the Saudi consortium fronted by Staveley pulled out of the deal, blaming the prolonged process and the current circumstances relating to coronavirus.

Contracts had been exchanged on the deal 17 WEEKS earlier.

A statement 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 its history, tradition and fans merit.

“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.”

Despite that, Ashley will still be £17m better off despite the curtailment of the takeover

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