'Farce' - Ex-Celtic and West Ham star hits out at Newcastle United takeover development

Former West Ham and Celtic striker Frank McAvennie has hit out at the decision to delay Newcastle United’s arbitration hearing – expressing his sympathy for supporters.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 11:47 am

It was announced last week that the Magpies’ takeover arbitration with the Premier League had been adjourned until ‘early 2022’ due to “issues with the disclosure of evidence”.

It provided a major blow to Mike Ashley’s and fans’ immediate hopes of a takeover being completed by PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers.

Ashley agreed a £300m deal with the Amanda Staveley-led consortium in April 2020 but it’ll likely be two years on when an official decision is reached.

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Newcastle United fans pack out the away end at the Keepmpat Stadium. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

It leaves United in limbo ahead of the upcoming top-flight season with head coach Steve Bruce handed limited funds in the summer transfer window, as confirmed after the 3-2 win at Doncaster Rovers.

“It’s wrong,” McAvennie said about the lengthy arbitration adjournment.

“Mike wants to sell the club, he has the buyers, and for some reason they can’t do it. The whole thing is a farce. ‘What else can he do?’

“I don’t understand, they have done everything. I feel so sorry for the fans, I lived up there for 15 years and the fans are salt-of-the-earth people.

“They love their club and I feel for them because it’s not right.”

Anti-Ashley chants were heard from the away at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium on Friday night.

However, McAvennie insists the Sports Direct tycoon can’t do a lot more in his attempts to force the takeover through.

McAvennie continued: "They can have a go at Mike but what else can he do?

“He’s agreed a deal and it’s not happened, now they have put it on hold for six months.

“Nothing even happened in the last six months. The sooner it happens the better.

“The club needs to be football first and it’s not at the moment. There must be something wrong.

“I just wish for the Geordies to find someone who cares about the club.”

Ashley and co have a second legal challenge running against the Premier League – the Competition Appeals Tribunal case.

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