What a few months it's been in the north east of England.
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation it was those around Tyneside who were thankful to have some real hope to cling on to at such a trying time.
A £300million takeover bid, submitted by Amanda Staveley and the Saudi-backed PIF was accepted by Mike Ashley and submitted to the Premier League for ratification.
Newcastle United supporters had spent years hoping to see the back of the Sports Direct mogul, and it seemed that this was their chance.
The owners' and directors' test is usually classed as due diligence, meaning that the approval from the Premier League looked likely to come in a matter of weeks after submitting.
But 17 long weeks passed with no word.
Frustrations grew within the fanbase, but also in the buying party which ultimately led to the breakdown of proceedings.
As a result, PIF decided to withdraw their offer for the club, citing 'the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty' as the reason.
But with supporters starting to digest what is going on, a fresh report has offered some sort of hope.
The Shields Gazette have claimed that Amanda Staveley and the buying party could come back with a second offer.
It's reported that discussions between Ashley and the prospective new owners have been ongoing as they discuss a way forward through the current situation.
Legal action has also been discussed as the clash with the Premier League continues, however it's not yet confirmed whether the original bid has been formally withdrawn or if it remains live.
But one reassuring aspect is that 'there is a growing sense of optimism around the potential purchase, with fan pressure and political angles seemingly making inroads in public and behind the scenes'.
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
This is very reassuring for Newcastle United fans.
To say supporters are annoyed is an understatement, with many outraged at the way the Premier League have handled the process.
The fact that Amanda Staveley and the PIF are still interested is a bonus, and it doesn't seem that their interest is going away.
If the two parties can get clarity over the reason for the delays last time, then efforts can be made to resurrect the deal and push it through.
However that does depend on some open communication from the Premier League - something that is yet to be forthcoming.
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