Newcastle United in UK£350m UAE takeover talks

Newcastle United in UK£350m UAE takeover talks
Premier League soccer club Newcastle Untied are in takeover talks with Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan in a deal worth a reported UK£350 million (US$443.45 million).

Sheikh Khaled’s investment group, Bin Zayed Group, confirmed in a statement that representative of the Sheikh have are in discussions with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

The statement, obtained by the Chronicle, read: ‘We can confirm the representatives of his Highness Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan are in discussions with Mike Ashley and his team about the proposed acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club.

‘We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.’

However, Al Nahyan is reportedly yet to provide proof of funds to complete the purchase of the club with the deal far from completion at this stage.

Al Nahyan previously failed with a UK£2 billion (US$2.5 billion) bid for fellow English outfit Liverpool in the past after he was unable to provide proof of funds or pay the UK£25 million (US$31.6 million) deposit.

There had been various reports that Al Nahyan was a distant relative of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour but those have since been denounced.

Ashley, who is an unpopular figure with Newcastle fans, took over the club in 2007 in a UK£140 million deal (US$177.38 million) and has tried and failed to sell the club several times since.

Most recently, financer Amanda Staveley claimed she was close to completing a takeover in late 2017 but a move never materialised.

Former Chelsea Chief Executive Peter Kenyon also announced he was interested in purchasing the club but once again the deal failed to take place.

Under Ashley’s reign the club have suffered two relegations to the second tier of English soccer and have received paltry investment from Ashley in comparison to other Premier League clubs.

Ashley, a retail businessman. has recently sold the headquarters of his sports retail company Sports Direct to a Malaysian pension fund for more than UK£120 million (US$152 million) in cash.

On the pitch, Newcastle finished 13th in the Premier League with 45 points from 38 games.

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