Newcastle United takeover is OFF as Saudi-backed consortium withdraw bid

The takeover is officially off!

Newcastle's proposed takeover by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers is off.

The consortium, led by Amanda Staveley, cited the prolonged process and the implications of the coronavirus pandemic as reasons for their withdrawal.

A statement from the Saudi consortium read: "With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

"We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans' merit.

"Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the Club's owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities."

A sad day for Newcastle fans up and down the country, with the club now potentially stuck with current owner Mike Ashley for the foreseeable future.

However, the BBC 's Ian Dennis reports that the withdrawal of the bid from the Saudi consortium could pave the way for American Henry Mauriss to acquire the club.

Maybe it's not all doom and gloom, Newcastle fans.

More to follow...

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