Saudi Arabian-backed consortium pulls out of Newcastle United takeover

Newcastle United remains under the ownership of Mike Ashley

The takeover bid had been condemned by Amnesty International and Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, over Saudi's human rights record, putting pressure on the Premier League not to give it the green light in its owners' and directors' test.

But Charnley has hinted there is hope a deal may be revived, telling Sky Sports News: 'We acknowledge yesterday's statement.

A group fronted by British financier Amanda Staveley, with an expected 80% investment from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF and 10% involvement from billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, made a reported £300 million bid to buy the club from Mike Ashley in April.

But a source close to the bid said they believed the Premier League had been influenced by the BeIN Sports issue and political considerations.

"But the other clubs in the Premier League didn't want it to happen".

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Fair to say nobody had any great expectations regarding the Premier League and / or Mike Ashley giving any clarification but here goes... "However our current focus must now be on supporting (manager) Steve Bruce in the transfer market and on the preparations for the new season", he said.

The consortium had been waiting to be given the green light take charge of the club, but withdrew completely, citing the tough economic times during the Covid-19 pandemic. This will cut very deep. Newcastle have not featured in the Champions League since 2004 and have not won the English title since 1927 or FA Cup since 1955, despite claiming one of the country's largest fan bases.

There has been opposition to the deal from human rights campaigners concerned about Saudi Arabia's welfare practices, while matters were complicated further when the World Trade Organization published a report that found representatives of the Kingdom had facilitated the breach of piracy laws through broadcasting network beoutQ.

That decision means that there is no legal means to watch Premier League football in Saudi Arabia until at least 2022. "There's a lot of anger, understandably so, and a massive amount of disappointment", he said.

Staveley revealed she was left "devastated" after discovering the deal had fallen through - but has hinted she too is hopeful it can be hauled back on track.

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