Mike Ashley remains confident on Newcastle United takeover – but cash completion message is wide of the mark

Mike Ashley and Newcastle United are maintaining their ‘business as usual’ approach at St James’ Park despite rumours the owner has readied takeover buyers.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:30 pm

Reports over the weekend claimed Ashley is confident the deal will be given the green light imminently and has told the PCP Consortium to get their cash ready for the transaction. This has led to the rumour mill, particularly on social media, going into overdrive among the Newcastle United faithful.

And while the Gazette understands the Sports Direct tycoon IS confident his legal actions will eventually prevail in getting the PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers buyout through the regulatory red tape, he has NOT passed on any recent message to the buyers about the deal being very close, or to ready them for completion.

In fact, the club, with the buyers and fans, wait patiently for the Premier League’s next move with a number of key takeover dates already pencilled in the diary.

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Mike Ashley, Newcastle United owner and Lee Charnley look on prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium on February 2, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Two separate legal teams paid for by Ashley, one through St James Holdings Limited, continue to prepare for the club’s Premier League arbitration and the Competition Appeals Tribunal (CAT) case.

By 5pm on Friday the Premier League must respond to Ashley’s CAT case claim – and, as yet, there has been no indication as to what the top flight will do.

Friday’s deadline is purely the date by which the Premier League must respond to the claim against them. Any possible hearing, which would likely be streamed publicly, would happen, and be announced, at a later date.

Meanwhile, the arbitration hearing, which centres around the want to name the Saudi state as a director of the club, due to their influence over majority buyers-in-waiting PIF, is likely to run in July. The exact date of this private and confidential hearing is not known.

Hopes remain high on all sides that a deal can eventually be pushed through the barrier of the top flight’s own owners’ and directors’ test. However, it is business as usual at SJP, with the club working with manager Steve Bruce on transfers and their summer plans, ahead of the window reopening on Wednesday.

It is understood the club’s accounts are set to be released – and they are likely to show the considerable impact the Covid fan lockout had on United finances.

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