Newcastle United's £300m Saudi Arabian-backed takeover called off
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: The statue of Sir Bobby Robson outside the stadium before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The deal, which had been in the hands of the Premier League for 17-weeks, has been derailed after the consortium ran out of patience with the league's Owners and Directors Test.

  • The controversies 

This proposed deal has been nothing of eventful, as calls to reject the deal had surfaced from the beginning due to Saudi Arabia's controversial background.

Various human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and the widowed fiancé of murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi - had all written letters to the Premier League in a bid to reject the deal.

Sports television network, beIN Sports have also been very vocal in their objection to the deal - as they believe the Saudi Government facilitated pirate network 'beoutQ', in an effort to steal their footage and redistribute it across the Middle East and North African areas.

Adding to the controversy, the Public Investment Fund, who would have been 80% shareholders in Newcastle - is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

  • What could have been...

If the deal was to go ahead, The Magpies would have become the richest club in the Premier League - as the PIF are worth over an alleged £300bn.

The consortium promised to invest heavily in players, the actual city as well as the academy.

It means that current owner Mike Ashley remains at the club, something which will be met with disgust by the Newcastle faithful.

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A statement read from the Public Investment Fund:

"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.

"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."

Jamie Reuben, who would have been the Reuben Brothers' representative on the Newcastle board, put this message out to The Toon supporters on Twitter.

Mehrdad Ghodoussi, the husband of Amanda Staveley, also took to Twitter to address the Newcastle fans.

Staveley, who is currently in a legal battle with Barclays bank, was in tears when she found out the news that the consortium were pulling out of the deal.

  • Mike Ashley remains the owner 

It is reported that Mike Ashley has made £17m off the back of the deal, regardless of the takeover collapsing - due to a non-refundable deposit being made by the consortium before the Owners and Directors Test commenced.

The news will be met with heartbreak for the Newcastle fans, who had hoped that the Sports Direct tycoon will have departed the club after 13-years of neglectful ownership.

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