The Dubai-based consortium has been heavily linked with a takeover bid for some time now, but Downie has also suggested that there are doubts over whether they are financially able to complete the deal.
Writing in a piece for Sky, he said: “There are takeover talks still going on in the background and the club remains up for sale. Until Ashley comes out and says otherwise, that will remain the case – as it has been for the best part of two years now.
“What I will say, though, is that I have serious reservations about the proposed Bin Zayed group takeover. It’s my understanding that, despite their claims, they have still not submitted proof of funds. They say they have submitted all of the paperwork, but that’s not what I’m hearing.
“The word I’m getting from a number of sources is that they don’t have the money to buy the club. I do think their interest is genuine and there have been talks, but I think the reality is that they don’t have the funds to complete the takeover.”
This has to be the final nail in the coffin for the Bin Zayed Group’s hopes of buying Newcastle United. There have been doubts throughout this saga, but to have come as far as we have with no meaningful or official update, and now to hear that there are persisting questions over whether or not they can even afford the club in the first place, it is surely time to consign this bid to the scrapheap of attempted buyouts. There’s an old adage that says if something is too good to be true, it usually is, and once again, it has been proven here. For an Arab sheikh to pop up out of the blue and claim he is buying your club, it is almost the stuff of miracles, and as a general rule, miracle don’t happen on Tyneside, especially when Mike Ashley has anything to do with the situation.