Takeover must be a word which supporters of Newcastle United have grown sick of by now. For months the Premier League and Saudi Arabian backed prospective bid to take ownership of the club have been going on to the point where to deal has stalled. Previously the deal was thought to be held up due to the Kingdom’s ongoing issues with Qatari based broadcaster beIN Sports and the allegations of piracy in the region.
After some new anti-piracy measures were introduced in the Kingdom it now appears that the deal has reached a sticking point once again, over a lack of clarity as to who will be in charge of the Magpies.
There have been cries for the government to intervene in the deal, but the trade secretary Liz Truss dismissed those claims. Parliaments under-secretary of state for sport, heritage and tourism, Nigel Huddleston, has now reiterated those claims and expressed his disappointment.
What did he say?
Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Huddleston said: “I’m very uncomfortable with the level of expectation of involvement on the government with things that are very clearly decisions for football.”
“There is obviously the fit and proper persons test to go through with any acquisitions of this nature and I think that is absolutely appropriate.
“It’s something that I’m keeping an eye on, but it is a decision for those involved. It would be inappropriate for me to interfere at that kind of level,” added the under-secretary of state for sport, heritage and tourism.
Patience wearing thin
Magpies manager Steve Bruce has shown visible signs of frustration at the length of time the prospective takeover continues to take and the turbulence it is causing on Tyneside. The Newcastle boss has called for “clarity” regarding the situation, yet the Premier League have remained tight lipped throughout, in spite of the division’s Chief Executive Richard Masters saying a decision would emerge “shortly” exactly a month ago.
At present, it appears there is no end in sight and Mike Ashley has even begun preparations for next season by putting in place a contingency plan. Unfortunately, this deal appears set to rumble on for some time yet.