Mike Ashley confident Newcastle takeover will go through in 2022

Graeme Bailey
Mike Ashley is hopeful the proposed takeover of Newcastle United will go ahead
Mike Ashley is hopeful the proposed takeover of Newcastle United will go ahead / ANDREW BOYERS/Getty Images

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is confident that the proposed takeover of the club will go ahead in January, 90min understands.

Ashley and his legal team believe that the arbitration ruling over a failed takeover last year, due to be heard in early 2022, is likely to go in their favour.

The beleaguered Magpies owner is looking forward to moving on from Newcastle and he is hopeful that he will be able to sell to the consortium that initially agreed a deal in the region of £300m for the club in 2020.

The group looking to take charge was put together by British financier Amanda Staveley through her company PCP Capital Partners, and also consisted of the Reuben Brothers (David and Simon) and Saudia Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – who would have taken control of 80% of the club.

However in July 2020, after months of talks, the deal collapsed when Saudi’s PIF group decided to pull away from the deal after the Premier League refused to pass them through their owners' and directors' test as they scrutinised them before giving the green light.

Ashley has since launched two legal challenges against the Premier League and the main one is the arbitration case with the league, which was delayed until January.

Despite the delays work has been going on behind the scenes and Newcastle’s hierarchy believe their case is good, which is one reason why a deal for Joe Willock was sanctioned.

Newcastle paid a £25m fee to Arsenal, knowing they had to bolster the squad to make sure they maintain their Premier League status this season. However, the transfer was very much not in their initial summer plans and this was evidenced by their agreement to pay in instalments - something that has never been done before during the Ashley era.

90min understands that Staveley’s consortium remain ready to do a deal for the club, and that agreement could be closer than ever - news that will be welcomed by the club's fanbase who are desperate to see Ashley leave the club, with almost weekly protests taking place.

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League
Newcastle fans want Mike Ashley out / Michael Regan/Getty Images

The arbitration will decide on the overall issue that the Premier League had, and whether they were justified, but there is also a legal complaint that was lodged by Ashley with the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

The initial hearing on 27 September will determine whether or not there is a case to answer before any dates are set. But even if that case continues, Ashley will hope a positive outcome in the arbitration case will make it inconsequential.

The Saudi PIF do have interest in other clubs, with Inter being one of those to have come to their attention. The Milan club look to be available with their current Chinese owners moving away from football - despite the Nerazzurri claiming the Scudetto last season.

However, it is understood that this does not affect PIF's interest in Newcastle.

90min revealed last year that the sovereign wealth fund was keen to look towards the models adopted by a host of ownership groups around the world, such as City Group and Red Bull, who have a number of teams from different countries working under one umbrella organisation.