BNG defend Newcastle United takeover bid despite Obama snap criticism as Saudi consortium weigh up next move

The Bellagraph Nova Group insist they are genuine Newcastle United takeover bidders – and have responded to fan criticism of their Barack Obama 'photoshop' shot.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 10:00 am

Eagle-eyed Newcastle fans have been critical of the group's published literature, which includes some interesting promotion shots of BNG founders Evangeline Shen, Nelson Loh and Terence Loh with former US president Obama.

Explaining the imagery, the group claim the meeting with Obama was genuine, although requests to explain why the Loh cousins were presented alongside Shen in a picture with the ex-president of the United States, which has been picked apart by fans on Twitter, proved fruitless.

Sources close to the group claim President Obama was a guest at a charity fundraiser held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Singapore and posed for pictures with the trio.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And they insist despite the growing social media criticism of their £280 million bid claims, they are legitimate business people, who are keen to strike a deal with wantaway Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

The group are yet to receive official word from Ashley's lawyers Dentons, after lodging their bid last week. They insist they have ticked every box required in order for this deal to progress, including providing proof of funds.

The position of the only advanced bid on the table – from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers – remains uncertain.

Talk last week was that some behind-the-scenes political pressure was set to pay dividends – and a positive announcement was expected. But, as we all know, all that transpired was the Premier League statement from Richard Masters via MP Chi Onwurah, which did little to provide the clarity fans craved, leaving many questions unanswered.

BN Group deal broker and former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra.

If the fact Masters and the league breaking silence was the positive update the consortium were waiting for, then the ball is very much in their court. At this stage, their next move is unknown, despite suggestions of legal action from all parties, including Ashley, throughout the protracted owners and directors test process.

Ashley is thought to want a little more than £300 million agreed with Amanda Staveley's consortium, which is why the Sports Direct tycoon is unlikely to entertain the initial BNG bid, which has been brokered by former Magpies striker Michael Chopra.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Shields Gazette website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.