Consortium pull plug on Newcastle United takeover
The proposed Saudi-led takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United has been called off by the bidding consortium.
A joint statement from the groups involved in the bid, including Saudi Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media confirmed the withdrawal of their offer.
The consortium had lodged a £300m bid with current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley but the Premier League had taken 17 weeks to mull over whether to ratify the deal and were yet to make a conclusion.
The statement read: "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.
"We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans' merit.
"Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club's owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities."
The consortium also praised Newcastle's fans in the statement."We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help,” it added.
"We would like to say that we truly appreciated your incredible expressions of support and your patience throughout this process. We are sorry it is not to be.
"Unfortunately, the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable."