Mark Douglas has delivered his verdict on the Newcastle United takeover saga, claiming that it is “not imminent” but “could still happen”.
The Magpies have been at the centre of heavy speculation about a potential buyout this summer, but the Chronicle journalist believes that a deal is still some way off.
Speaking to on the Everything is Black and White podcast, he said: “I think they’re still thrashing out terms with a couple of groups. I don’t think a deposit of funds have been put into wherever it needs to go.
“My understanding from the people I speak to is that it [the owners and directors test] hasn’t started yet, but that is right at the end of the process. My feeling is that it is not imminent.
“I think it could still happen. We’re waiting for the Big Bang.”
Douglas’ appraisal of the situation seems to be about as an accurate a one as you could reasonably hope for at the moment. For one thing, it is becoming increasingly evident that a takeover is nowhere near as close as the Bin Zayed Group initially claimed, and the fact that there are still multiple parties involved shows that no exclusivity has been agreed. The general mood surrounding the deal has soured very quickly, with a lack of communication fuelling rampant frustration amongst supporters, but unusually, Douglas seems to be striking a relatively optimistic tone here. Things are still a long way off, but that does mean they’re not happening altogether, and in a summer that has taken a very dour turn with the departure of Rafa Benitez, any kind of hope is welcome. Geordies won’t believe that a deal is complete until they see the proof for themselves, but perhaps it is too soon to give up all hope just yet.