Mike Ashley’s reign as Newcastle owner could be coming to an end after a billionaire Sheikh revealed he has agreed terms to buy the club.
Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan says the Bin Zayed Group are in talks to purchase the North East club from Ashley, with the retail entrepreneur holding out for around £350m for the club he purchased 12 years ago.
The news is likely to be greeted positively from the club’s supporters, who have seen takeovers from Amanda Stavely and Peter Kenyon fail in recent years.
Should the takeover prove successful, the fresh investment could also see manager Rafael Benitez stay at St James’ Park. The 59-year-old has sought assurances over the club’s ambition before committing his long-term future to the club.
According to Sky Sports a statement from Midhat Kidwai, managing director of the Bin Zayed Group, confirmed talks over the purchase of the club have begun, with Newcastle also confirming the statement is genuine:
“In response to numerous reports in the world media this morning, we would like to comment as follows.
“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 view it as an honour to have the opportunity to build on the strong support, history and tradition of the club.
“We have agreed terms and are working hard to complete the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”
There was a very left-field suggestion for the Player of the Year from our end of season award podcast this week. 🏆
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 25, 2019