Newcastle United may still be a Mike Ashley owned club yet, with the Amanda Staveley led consortium struggling to get through the final stage of purchasing the club ... the Premier League vibe checks.
Previously, the news was that the Premier League had to solidify their plans for Project Restart before they would be able to confidently move on to the next big thing on the agenda which was our very own club Newcastle United and their prospective new owners, Amanda Staveley, the Reuben Brothers, and the PiF (royal fund of the Saudi royal family). But now, outlets are beginning to report that there could be a breakdown of the deal due to piracy concerns with Saudi Arabia.
If that ends up being the case, Newcastle United fans would once again find themselves at stage one with Mike Ashley, who has remained remarkably silent on his view of the whole ordeal. PiF, remaining true to their NDA has only spoken through Saudi Arabian media and not directly on the matter, and it’s been quite painful as a fan to watch.
Sure, there have been talks throughout sports media that Newcastle United could be bought by an American buyer named Henry Mauriss, however, this is just conjecture at this point and is not fact. The point is not a single outlet is in the know at this point in time. We’re completely in the dark, and it’s likely going to remain that way for the next couple of weeks.
I understand that Project Restart took up a substantial amount of time and deliberation for the Premier League. It isn’t like the League was devoid of resources to devote to prepping for a Newcastle United sale. What is holding the sale up is not even the human rights offenses and political issues galore. It’s that Saudi Arabia had allegedly been pirating Premier League matches, which is a big no-no for the EPL.
There are two potential things (in my mind as someone who has been covering this club for years) that the Premier League is up to during this delay.
- They are looking for legal reasons to justify refusing the sale of Newcastle United, and to cover themselves against a potential suit from Staveley and friends as well as potentially Mike Ashley, who would be forced to retain an asset he intends to sell.
- They are looking for legal reasons to justify the sale of Newcastle United to the consortium and back up their reasoning when the slew of human rights activists come knocking on their door.
It’s one of the above. And when the Premier League make their decision, unfortunately for them there’s no effortless way out. A decision needs to be made, and it needs to be made soon, and they just need to be prepared to back up that decision no matter what it is.