Ashley is keen to revive £ 300 million in Saudi deals


Exclusive – Newcastle United will revive the proposed acquisition agreement backed by Saudi Arabia that fell last summer if legal action against the Premier League is successful, although Mike Ashley does not intend to lower his asking price of £ 300 million – whether the relegation is suspended or not . .

Ashley was about to seal a long-awaited sale to a consortium led by financier Amanda Staveley but largely backed by cash from Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, which represents the golf nation’s sovereign wealth.

Businesswoman Amanda Staveley leads the acquisition group David M. Benett / Getty Images

The Premier League, after months of deliberations, rejected the proposed takeover after their ownership and director tests had been completed. It was Saudi Arabia’s involvement that caused the problem, with the Premier League concerned about ongoing piracy issues related to broadcasting rights.

These rights are held in the region by Qatar-based beIN SPORTS, but the network is banned in Saudi Arabia and Premier League football cannot legally be broadcast there as a result. There is also a long-standing concern about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Newcastle took their case over the blocked takeover to an arbitration panel and a source has said for 90 minutes that there is a belief in the Premier League that the Magpies will succeed in getting the refusal lifted.

Ashley is as confident as he can be under the circumstances but refuses to be fooled, given that he was also sure of the first deal last year.

Newcastle could still be sold in about the same £ 300 million takeover as previously agreed | David Goddard / Getty Images

If Newcastle win their legal appeal, the same deal that was agreed last year is likely to continue. The proposal took a long time to measure and the acquiring party realized that it would remain in place, although their offer – officially – was withdrawn in July after the Premier League decision.

Some aspects of the deal may change, but it will largely be the same terms and Ashley will refuse to lower the price in particular. That will be the case even if Newcastle are relegated from the Premier League, although their current hopes of survival have been given a huge boost thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 win over West Ham at St James’ Park.

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