Newcastle takeover on rocks with ‘concerns over ownership structure’ in £300m Saudi Arabia deal

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THE PROPOSED Saudi Arabian-led takeover of Newcastle has reportedly hit the buffers over who will have the final say on decisions. 

A £300million deal was reached with owner Mike Ashley in April, with fans praying it would be passed through within weeks. 

But the Toon Army have watched on nervously for four months with the Premier League yet to give a final decision. 

The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) is vying for an 80 per cent stake, but The Telegraph claim the deal has reached “deadlock due to concerns over the new ownership structure.”

The PIF have tried to convince the Premier League that those involved in the bid are not linked to the Saudi state. 

But while the buyers believe they have answered all of the questions, the Prem are not satisfied with the responses, leaving the process gridlocked. 

SunSport reported on Sunday how supporters’ mental health has been affected as they pray for the end of Mike Ashley’s 13-year reign. 

Prem chief Richard Masters said four weeks ago that he would like to see a resolution “shortly”. 

The takeover – with Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers in for 10 per cent stakes each – has been dogged by trouble from the outset.

A number of charities called for it to be blocked because of human rights abuses committed by Saudi Arabia 

The Gulf state has also been embroiled in a piracy row with Qatar, with the Prem previously trying to take legal action against Saudi Arabia for illegally steaming of top-flight matches throughout the kingdom. 

The consortium – who have been confident throughout- paid Ashley a £17m non-refundable deposit, which he stands to pocket if the deal is curtailed. 

It also claimed that Ashley has been in talks with American Henry Mauriss for since the beginning of July. 

Mauriss launched his own bid last month and denied to SunSport that he is being secretly backed by Qatar.  

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