Early Thursday, the Sun’s Neil Custis issued the following tweet claiming Newcastle’s takeover would be resolved next week.
Understand the @NUFC takeover has been delayed as Premier League concentrate on 'operation restart' but good chance things will be resolved next week.
— Neil Custis (@ncustisTheSun) May 21, 2020
On the face of it, Custis’s tweet is not necessarily negative. Though it is certainly unwelcome for Newcastle fans sick of waiting for the Premier League to complete its tests.
Under the circumstances with Project Restart kicking off this week, it’s understandable that a decision on the takeover has been delayed.
However, Custis has followed up with a report late Thursday that claims the league has found no reason to block the takeover. The delay in officially contacting both the seller and buyer is due to Project Restart.
This is what Custis writes in The Sun:
There had been a delay while authorities work on Project Restart as they try to get the game up and running amid the Covid-19 crisis.
SunSport understands the League’s owners and directors test found no barrier to the takeover.
Financier Staveley, who is fronting the bid, is expecting official word next week.
Then once the funds and paperwork are sorted an announcement will be made on or around June 1.
Custis’s reporting is very similar to what local journalists George Caulkin and Lee Ryder reported on Thursday. However, Custis has provided a potential date that the announcement will be made.
The date of June 1st also makes a lot of sense when you take into consideration the importance phase 1 and 2 of Project Restart will play in getting this season back underway.
Phase 1 began on Tuesday after being approved during a meeting on Monday. After Monday’s meeting, Premier League chief Richard Masters made the following comments about when phase 2, which involves contact training, will begin:
“Today we haven’t talked to the players or even that clubs yet about return to contact training, in terms of the fine details of protocols. We’re anticipating we can do that in the next week to 10 days.
“Before any decisions are made exactly the same as this stage’s decision, we will have very similar meetings with players and managers to explain to them how contact training would work and so they can raise their concerns and questions and we can answer any medical concerns they might have.”
Masters is adamant that phase 1 must be a success before even discussing phase 2. He cites a week to ten days before that discussion can begin.
That timeline is consistent with what Custis is reporting.
The Premier League’s focus next week will be moving to phase 2 of Project Restart. Considering that, it makes sense that the takeover will not be announced until the following Monday on June 1st, assuming all goes well with moving to phase 2.
The Amanda Staveley-led consortium will be given the green light to transfer the funds next week. This could take a few days, according to George Caulkin. However, once transferred, the deal will be official.
So while the announcement may not come until June 1st, we’ll probably hear some auspicious news next week after the Premier League contacts our prospective new owners and Mike Ashley.