Mike Ashley Seeking Clarity From Premier League as Newcastle Takeover Drags on

Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley
Mike Ashley (pictured left) is not happy with how takeover talks have stalled at Newcastle. | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Things have gone quiet on the takeover front for Newcastle, as the fit owners and directors test process approaches the end of its second month - double the usual length of time.

Mike Ashley remains as keen to sell as ever, and with his Sports Direct stores reopening, he is returning to the UK to seek answers from the FA regarding the status of the sale of his club.

Mike Ashley
Newcastle fans make their feelings known | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

It seems a lifetime ago that the deal to see Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, backed by Amanda Staveley and the Reuben Brothers, take over was agreed with Ashley, allowing every Newcastle fan up and down the land to dream of signing someone like Kylian Mbappe.

But the process has stalled over the last couple of months, with the Chronicle now reporting that Ashley's positions is unchanged - and it is the Premier League who are continuing to hold things up. One reason for the hold up is concerns over the Saudi group's links to beoutQ, a service that has been illegally streaming Premier League matches to the country for a couple of years.

There have also been questions raised over human rights violations, but again there seems to be very little movement on whether or not that will impact the takeover being approved. Ashley is inevitably growing more and more impatient, and would simply like a conclusion to the process so he can begin planning ahead, regardless of whether the sale goes through or not.

Currently, the club are in limbo, unable to properly plan for the 2020/21 season. Decisions around contract and loan extensions for Danny Rose, Nabil Bentaleb and Andy Carroll have been put on hold, as nobody really seems to know who's in charge.

Steve Bruce has seen his position as Newcastle manager scrutinised.
Steve Bruce has seen his position as Newcastle manager scrutinised. | Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

Perhaps the largest issue surrounds the club's non-playing staff. Their futures have been up in the air since the takeover bid was accepted, with first team manager Steve Bruce forced to watch on as a number of high profile names were linked with his job.

The Premier League are yet to publicly comment on the sale of the Magpies, with chief executive Richard Masters determined to make the correct decision on arguably the toughest call of his reign so far.

The Saudi takeover may not be the only sales avenue open to Ashley, as sources close to the club claim American tycoon Henry Mauriss is still interested. The Californian businessman is yet to submit a formal offer but has recently set up a UK firm with Companies House. However, many observers are skeptical about how serious his intentions actually are.