So Newcastle fans have suffered another gut punch just over a year after the last one when Rafa Benitez left the club and an earlier proposed takeover was found out to be much ado about nothing.
Now, after months of speculation that a deal was almost certain. The Saudi-backed consortium has pulled out of their attempted takeover of our beloved club. This drops Newcastle well past square one, and into negative territory. The club has been left behind and must now scramble to get itself on track for the coming season.
The Chronicle has published the following statement from the consortium on why they felt there was no path forward in their bid for Newcastle:
“”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 of its history, tradition, and fans’ merit.
“Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable.
“To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.
“As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the Club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality, and proactivity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the Club.
“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.
“As often occurs with proposed investments in uncertain periods, 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.
“We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its tremendous potential and build upon its impressive and historic legacy while working closely with the local community.
“We would like to say that we truly appreciated your incredible expressions of support and your patience throughout this process.
“We are sorry it is not to be. We wish the team and everyone associated with it much good luck and success.”
Interestingly, this statement confirms that the ‘commercial agreement’ between the consortium and Mike Ashely expired. This was first reported by The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards a few weeks ago. So maybe there’s something to the Henry Mauriss and Clear TV angle.
The statement also cites the uncertain conditions surrounding the Premier League for next season due to the coronavirus. However, it’s ultimately the prolonged owners’ and directors’ test that has doomed this takeover attempt.
The Investment Group could have made provisions to accommodate any uncertainties surrounding next season had they been afforded the time to do so. However, the Premier League did not want to make a decision as they were in a no-win situation.
So like gutless dithering cowards they let the process linger with the hopes that it would just go away. They got their wish but at what cost to Newcastle United.
This action by the league is truly disgraceful and they have shown their utter disregard for Newcastle United and its fanbase.
But now we must begrudgingly continue to plod forth on this familiar path. We cannot allow any new seeds of contempt to blossom and further impact our faith in this club.
We must back Steve Bruce and the players and continue to hope that someone somewhere comes to the rescue of Newcastle United.