Saudi Arabia-backed consortium PULLS OUT of Newcastle United takeover

Newcastle players celebrate a goal against Liverpool

A statement released on Thursday on behalf of the PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers confirmed: "With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club".

The consortium said that it was with "regret" that it had pulled out."As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and proactivity through a hard period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club", the investor group said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia's public investment fund (PIF) had been set to take an 80 per cent stake in the Premier League club under the terms of the deal, which was understood to be worth just over £300m.

"The other clubs in the Premier League didn't want it to happen".

With the takeover of the club having sat with the Premier League for over 16 weeks, the consortium bidding to take over Newcastle pulled the plug on Thursday.

"The piracy issue was not an issue but we tried to resolve it anyway", she said.

"Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable", they added.

The Premier League was urged by human rights groups to reject the Saudi bid over its record, while the kingdom was criticised by the World Trade Organisation for failing to do enough to tackle piracy.

"The supporters of Newcastle United have been treated with contempt by large parts of the football media and the Premier League during this failed takeover process", said the NUFC Supporters Trust.

Newcastle have not won a major domestic trophy since 1955, but could still count on regular crowds of 50,000 before the coronavirus forced stadiums to close. "We really thank the fans - I personally thank them for all their support".

Newcastle fans expressed frustration at the length of the Premier League's scrutiny and press criticism of the takeover.



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