The Premier League response to key takeover question that might get Newcastle United fans worried
There's a growing narrative on Tyneside. It was once borne of belief, hope and new beginnings. Now it resembles stasis, frustration and heartbreak (possibly).
Ever dreamed of winning the lottery, only to lose the ticket, finding it presented as Ariel-soaked confetti fluttering out your jean back pocket? Many Newcastle United fans will have snapped upright, dry-mouthed, in bed this morning with that kind of hangover.
Negative stories around the £300 million buyout of the club by a mainly Saudi-financed consortium have increased this week - and not without good cause.
A process which was outlined to take around two to four weeks has been ongoing since April 9, using fair estimates. That's 104 days. A long way from 28.
Without even digging into the issues themselves, this process has taken (very) roughly four times the advised time frame. Something presented as plain sailing by consortium sources as the days and nights lightened, has been proven to be anything but as we roll through the long - usually underwhelming - summer.
The buyers have had more than enough time to present their evidence, their arguments. The league decision-makers similarly have been given ample time to accept said information, develop it, accept it or reject it.
The delays have led to a stark switch in attitude among the United fanbase. Where pipedreams of ambition and aspiration once roamed, scepticism and mistrust reigns supreme in takeover consciousness.
How confident are you in the buyers' seemingly unwavering confidence? How confident are you Mike Ashley, this time, even wants to sell? Was this all a ploy, thunk up in the Keith Bishop PR machine? BTW there is nothing machine-like about said operation I'm told.
And finally, how confident are you the Premier League will not only make a fair, balanced, correct decision on the PIF, PCP and Reuben Brothers takeover bid, but will make one at all?
Social media and more is awash with fans wondering the latter - due to the complex, draining, political, mud-slinging nature of a process, meant to be completed behind-closed-doors, and confidentially, but has proven a lockdown soap opera ratings-buster. Few black and whiters have enjoyed the show. The popcorn has only been cracked open, shovelled in Jamie Carragher-style no doubt, by fans of opposition clubs, some fearful of what a future with a strong NUFC-laden Premier League could entail for their beloved, others just relishing the spectacle, success or failure, whatever the agenda.
Online you've been asking the questions - and criticising us for not being YOUR voice in negotiations... So we decided to put it to the Premier League.
This was not a request for deal detail, confidentialities, privileged information, nor was it an ask for a decision ETA, or progress report - officially the Premier League will not offer this kind of information. This was a request, for our readers and worried NUFC fans online, to see if the Premier League will stick to their own regulations - and follow this takeover bid decision through to the end.
Q: "Another NUFC-related query I'm afraid. Will the Premier League confirm they will 100% make a decision on the takeover?"
Said query continues: "I'm sure it sounds a bit strange but the growing narrative up here is the PL will just let this fizzle out when someone pulls out of the deal, buyer or seller or a new bid arrives, if any of this is at all even legally possible. The basis for these fears are in relation to the difficult nature of the decision, rumours around the bid and timeframe taken in reaching a yes or a no."
And more: "So, without wanting any specifics or confidentials (they say they are bound in this regard), can the PL confirm they will eventually make a decision on this deal, however long it takes and whatever the outcome may be?
A (from the Premier League): "Hi Liam. No worries, and unfortunately still the same response. We are unable to comment on this at all in any aspect."
As we all have our very own, personal, unique crisis of confidence in this unprecedented time of uncertainty and upheaval, this response, from the governing body trusted with our hopes, dreams, the livelihoods of some, the cash of others, does little to inspire confidence in the process, the institution or, of course, the outcome. The last bit is all the United faithful cares for.
A simple request for the Premier League to confirm they will make a call - as Richard Masters told gathered MPs - on the Saudi bid, draws the conclusion: PL will not confirm they will even make a decision at all, contrary to their own rules and regulations.
Keep Newcastle, its people, its employees waiting, yes. But indefinitely, as has been suggested? No, no, no.
The Premier League have hidden behind their confidentiality for too long. Newcastle needs a decision, not only for its sanity, but for its very immediate future - the transfer window opens in days and for the new season make that weeks.
The Premier League does not have to answer to the fans, the media or others - it has proven that time and time again. But the Premier League does owe one of its highly-valued shareholders more clarity, a steer, or even (imagine it) a decision.