Football Trade Directory

Newcastle United takeover off

A Saudi Arabian-backed consortium has pulled out of a bid to buy Newcastle United.

Documents relating to a £300m takeover had been registered with the Premier League 16 weeks ago.

However, the deal was still being scrutinised under the owners' and directors' test.

It is understood Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth Public Investment Fund (PIF) ran out of patience waiting for approval.

PIF said that it was with "deep sadness" that it had to pull out.

Reports earlier this week suggested the Premier League was seeking clarification of the links between PIF and the Saudi state.

PIF's chairman is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and it appears the Premier League's lawyers had been struggling to establish the precise links between the consortium and the Saudi government.

PIF felt it had been given as many assurances as it could about an appropriate amount of distance between PIF and the Saudi state.

The economic environment and prospect of a second wave of the coronavirus - and threat of limited fans in stadia - was also said to be unhelpful.

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