Newcastle United’s proposed takeover from a Saudi Arabian led consortium has reportedly hit a roadblock due to a lack of clarity over who would be running the Premier League outfit.
Documents relating to a £300million takeover at St James’ Park from current owner Mike Ashley where registered with the Premier League back in April but it is still being scrutinised under an owners’ and directors’ test.
Although the bid is being led by British financier Amanda Staveley, it is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund (PIF) who are believed to take an 80 per cent controlling stake.
However the Telegraph have reported that there is a ‘deadlock due to concerns over the new ownership structure’ with a lack of clarity over who would take the reins at the North East side.
PIF have been trying to convince the Premier League that the bid is not linked to the state of Saudi Arabia.
PIF’s chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Premier League have had concerns trying to piece together the links between the bid and the Saudi state.
Although PIF believe they have responded to all questions asked of them by the Premier League, the English top flight are still not fully satisfied.
The bid has been rocked by a series of setbacks, including a row over Premier League TV rights.
Saudi Arabia permanently cancelled the license of beIN Sports to broadcast in the country.
Qatar-based beIN are the Premier League’s rights holders in the Middle East and this means there will be no legal means of watching top-flight football in Saudi.
Should the deal collapse, then American businessman Henry Mauriss could be set to launch a £350million takeover bid in the hope of taking over before the start of the season.
Either way current Toon boss Steve Bruce has called for more clarity over the situation, as he faces an uncertain summer ahead of the new season starting in September.
‘It is a frustration,’ Bruce said following defeat by Liverpool on Sunday. ‘The club needs that clarity, all of us, so let’s hope we can get that in the next few days or week or whatever it may be.
‘If that’s not going to happen, we need to know quickly so it can be business as usual.’