Football is over for this season, well Premier league football is, and the transfer window is now open, and yet Newcastle United are adrift at sea, with no direction, captain or rudder.
The takeover is still ongoing, stalled, at an impasse, close to being announced, or however you wish to describe the mess we as a club are in. The ‘reports’ around the takeover seem to swing from one extreme to the other, with nothing ‘official’ actually being released.
With the end of the season only 24 hours old, another roadblock seems to have appeared on the clubs journey to escaping Mike Ashley.
The Telegraph have tonight reported that the Premier League are seeking clarity over who will have a say once the club is taken over. They claim, through a ‘source’ that the Premier League don’t accept that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is a separate legal entity to the Saudi Government, which they claim stems from the fact de facto leader of the Kingdom Mohammed Bin Salman is the owner of PIF. The report also states the structure of the new proposed board has been designed specifically to separate the two, and show PIF more as an investment entity, and not an arm of the Saudi Government.
It is understandable to see where this confusion may come from, but you would think that an initial 350 page business plan would be enough to detail the structure laid out, and satisfy the Premier League. This however does not seem to be the case.
According to this report, there seems to be a disbelief that Amanda Staveley, who will own only 10% of the club, will have more than a 10% say. This seems to stem from the fact she will be the face of the day to day running of the club on a 5 person board. With 3 people on this proposed board being from Saudi, Jamie Reuben representing his father’s and uncle’s 10%, and Staveley.
It alludes that the Premier League feel there will be government influence in the running of the club, something that PIF apparently in their answers have tried to dispel, and assure the Premier League this is not the case.
There is a clause within the ‘Owners and Directors Test’ that allows the Premier League to reject a takeover attempt if they feel the buying party are being dishonest, or hiding information. Now if they have have the above worries, and this clause, you would feel the Premier League have grounds to reject.
The fact they haven’t is telling. It does seem to me at least that the Premier League are trying to iron out all the creases to allow this deal to go through. There is also the black cloud of the piracy issue. Multiple reports have said that although the Saudi Government or PIF are not responsible for the Piracy issue, they government haven’t done enough to crack down on those responsible. You would think from the outside looking in, and not knowing all the ins and outs, the piracy then does not have legal precedent in the ODT, which are available to the public, in terms of rules and criteria, for this bid to fail.
On a day when the Premier League have announced a new Mental Health campaign, led by Prince William, they continue to allow the mental health of Newcastle fans to be harmed.
While reports continue to be published, with ‘sources’ quoted, but ‘no comment’ from the league, it is then up to the interpretation of the ‘information’ by the journalist to write how they want. While we cannot dismiss anything negative, no context is given. Nothing to say:
“From our opinion this is a deal breaker”
“There is a way round this, whether the parties involved want to take it that is another issue.”
There is no clarity! While our own manager is asking for the smoke to clear, and to know where the club stand, journalists are throwing more smoke bombs down, just to make the whole thing a bit murkier.
The fans need to know what is going on, an official update is needed.
The feeling on Tyneside has gone from one of joy to anger, and the longer this goes on, the angrier the mob will become.
While sources hide behind anonymity, and the League hide behind confidentiality, the Newcastle fans are the ones taking the brunt.While, rightfully so, journalists will not name their sources, this lack of clarity is starting to become damaging to all. As each day goes past, the integrity, or trust fans have in certain journalists is dwindling. At the end of the day we need to know in which direction the club is going in, and who will own the club. We do not need guesses, or A SOURCE giving a form of update. We need clarification, we need both sides of the argument, we more than anything need an end to all of this.
Until that comes, the list of public enemies among the Toon Army grows by the day, There needs to be an answer to our calls, there needs to be an update, there needs to be an end to a takeover saga that seems to be getting longer as the days go on.