The Premier League will not be rushed into making a decision about Newcastle’s proposed takeover, says the league’s chief executive Richard Masters.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is headed up by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is hoping to get the green light to complete a £300 million ($375m) purchase of the north east club from current owner Mike Ashley.
The Saudi group would own 80 per cent of the club, with Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and British businessmen the Reuben brothers sharing the remaining 20% equally.
However, the takeover has proven controversial, with the Saudi regime having been accused of many human rights abuses.
There are also allegations of piracy by Saudi television broadcaster beoutQ, which has been accused of illegally broadcasting a range of sporting events, including the Premier League.
Masters says nothing should be read into the time taken by the league to make a decision, insisting there is no timeframe for reaching a conclusion.
“I don’t think timing is an issue here,” he told Sky Sports. “I don’t think that we have any specific views about when these things need to be done by.
“What we need to ensure is that all the processes are followed properly and when the decision is made, it’s the right one.”
When asked about some of the issues surrounding the bid, including allegations of piracy, Masters added. “I can’t get into it.
“The takeover of football clubs is… an entirely confidential process so I can’t say anything about it and can’t say anything to prejudice those discussions.”
Steve Bruce Newcastle 2019-20
Should the takeover be approved then there is speculation former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would replace Steve Bruce as Toon boss, benefiting from a substantial transfer budget to try and get the club competing for the Champions League places.
Bruce, a boyhood Newcastle fan, isn’t concerning himself with such speculation, but hopes the takeover can go ahead for the benefit of the club.
“If it’s good for Newcastle, and the club are going to try to compete with these teams [the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City], to be part of it would be great,” Bruce told Sky Sports.
“I would love to see it and I’d love to be part of it. I hope it’s where it goes, but in the meantime I’ll just crack on, wait, roll my sleeves up, and get on with trying to get some results to try and get the club going forward.
“If that happens for Newcastle in the future, then great – I’d be delighted.”