Newcastle fans 'confused and heartbroken' by takeover collapse

Newcastle United

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.

When the Premier League refused to place a timeline on making a decision over the takeover, the group pulled out of the deal.

The group, which included Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, was reported to have made a 300 million pounds ($391m) bid to buy United from British businessman Mike Ashley.

The Premier League had been considering a bid by a consortium led by the Public Investment Fund, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since April.

Amnesty International has suggested the collapse of Newcastle United's Saudi-backed takeover will be seen as a "sign" that human rights defenders have not been completely disregarded.

"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 Newcastle United Supporters Trust.

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"To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective".

There has been opposition to the deal from human rights campaigners concerned about Saudi Arabia's welfare practices, while matters were complicated further when the World Trade Organization published a report that found representatives of the Kingdom had facilitated the breach of piracy laws through broadcasting network beoutQ.

The Premier League has not yet commented.

"The test didn't allow [Premier League chief executive] Richard Masters to take into account moral issues which he or the people around him thought were important", she said.

George said: "Fans were done with Mike Ashley before this happened and looking ahead to the new season, it doesn't give you huge amount of motivation to spend £70 on a new shirt, or a look at transfer rumours because other clubs have already started to buy players, and we know we will be scraping the bottom of the barrel".

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