Mike Ashley is currently left with no alternative but to brace himself to remain at the Newcastle helm next season after all but giving up hope of pushing through a takeover.
The Sports Direct tycoon is still keeping his fingers crossed at keeping alive talks with Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-funded consortium, although the latter have shown little appetite for resolving the issues which prompted them to withdraw their £340million bid for the club last month with that decision coming amid a hiatus in the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test amid disquiet over the consortium’s links to the Saudi state and TV piracy.
Staveley’s PCP Capital partners, who are backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the Reuben Brothers, had paid a £17million deposit, around £9million of which has been forfeited as a result.
In the wake of Staveley’s withdrawa, the emergence of Singaporean Paris-based Bellagraph Nova Group’s interest has never progressed past Ashley’s legal team with the sportswear magnate only willing to engage with prospective buyers once he has proof of funds and a sizeable deposit.
With an offer of £280million that never came close to earning BNG, besides enlisting the support of former Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer, the PA news agency understands that this avenue is no longer being pursued.
At the same time, American businessman Henry Mauriss made a verbal offer of £350m as PCP’s exclusivity period expired, but that has yet to be firmed up and the clock is still ticking.
It is understood the Ashley camp is seeking definitive answers within days, but the Magpies owner is resigning himself to yet another season of ownership having dared to believe his search for a buyer might finally be approaching a successful conclusion.
His reign currently extends to more than 13 years, a period for much of which the club has been up for sale, but remains on the shelf.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia