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Pundit View: Waugh: Struggles to see “pathway forward” for takeover

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It has now been over two weeks since the news emerged that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund who placed a prospective bid to buy Newcastle United, pulled out of the deal. The consortium, which would have been the majority shareholder with an 80 per cent stake, also included the Reuben Brothers as well as Amanda Staveley, but it was the PIF fund which announced with “regret” that it had pulled out of the deal.

Since then messages have emerged from Mike Ashley, along with Staveley, that they remain “100 per cent committed” to the sale of the club if the negotiations can be resurrected. Even though it appears a decision by the PIF fund has been made, there is still none of the “clarity” which Steve Bruce called for, especially as the Premier League have not made a statement concerning the deal.

What did he say?

Speaking on The Athletic’s Newcastle United podcast Pod On The Tyne, Waugh said: “The takeover saga rumbles on, the takeover which has been withdrawn in theory, but at the same time, the buyers remain committed if it can go ahead.

“The seller remains committed, the vast majority of the fanbase are behind this and yet it’s the takeover that hasn’t happened and may not happen.”

The Newcastle journalist added: “I still struggle to see the pathway forward at this moment in time.”

Wondering what could have been

After the deal with Saudi Arabia’s PIF fund collapsed, Staveley spoke of the plans that had been put in place to ensure Newcastle United had ambition to return to being a Premier League force. According to the dealmaker, she and the other parties in the consortium had set aside £250m to splash on transfers, along with significant plans to invest in the city of Newcastle.

As Waugh has said, almost everyone involved with Newcastle and the takeover still want the deal to go ahead, expect from the Saudi PIF fund, who remain pulled out at present. The Toon Army may be forced to accept that the reality is Bruce has £35m, plus any income generated from player sales, to spend in this window and relegation remains a genuine threat next season.

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