Earlier this afternoon, journalist David Coverdale tweeted the following information he said came from a source close to the Saudis.
Sources close to the Saudis say Ashley tried to 'significantly renegotiate' the £300m deal at the last minute.
One of the reasons why they have pulled out today, as well as losing patience with the Premier League. #nufc
— David Coverdale (@dpcoverdale) July 30, 2020
The inference is that with the consortium losing exclusivity, which was confirmed in their statement, that Mike Ashley was free to renegotiate the terms of the deal and took the opportunity to do just that in order to squeeze more money out of the Saudis.
However, this claim quite inflammatory under the current state of affairs. It is also unsubstantiated.
George Caulkin has tweeted the following information from the consortium that Mike Ashley is not the cause of the takeover’s collapse.
From the consortium’s point of view, no blame whatsoever is attached to Ashley or Newcastle for what’s happened (or not happened) today. “The reason the deal failed is because of the Premier League,” they say. #NUFC
— George Caulkin (@GeorgeCaulkin) July 30, 2020
We hope Ashley has potential buyers waiting in the wings as his time to sell the club is long overdue. However, in terms of this takeover failing, it seems that Ashley is not the culprit.