Delays are an inevitable curse of business deals, particularly those which are complex, involve plenty of moving parts and have to be overseen and ratified by external governing bodies. The Saudi takeover of Newcastle ticks all those boxes and then some, with a forest of paperwork, necessary legislative and oversight checks and clarity to be sought over revenue streams, contracts, assets and the sources from which the funds will be coming – particularly given that the takeover in questions involves overseas parties from a country and region with its fair share of more questionable and legally grey sources.
Due diligence and care have to be taken by the Premier League. Nobody disputes that and, due to the lack of any other major stories going on in the world of football during the coronavirus lockdown, the Newcastle takeover earned far more attention than it ever would have done normally, meaning the final outcome the league decides on must be legally watertight beyond even the most determined scrutiny.
There is a lot of money on the line for the Premier League. They will want this deal ratified and approved but faced with such uproar and protest in opposition of the takeover – much of it either unjustified, courtesy of jealousy and fear from other teams and their supporters or being used for political or subverted personal conflicts – the Premier League know when they do opt to approve the Newcastle takeover it is going to be a PR headache. In many ways, it seems as if they’re holding out with lengthy delays and checks until the restart of the season, hoping to bury the headline among the other news of the league’s return.
It wouldn’t be without reason or logic. It would however mean another week of unbearable anxiety, anticipation and already confusion for Newcastle supporters. Nobody involved in the deal beyond the Premier League can make a statement or give an official or truthful update on where the process is at. All parties involved are well into the business deal now and will be locked down by non-disclosure agreements, meaning fans are left with a nervous wait through the silence. All anyone wants now, truthfully, is closure; preferably in the form of a big green rubber stamp on the deal since there’s no reason the deal should fail the tests as its not based on moral decisions.