It’s been almost 18 months since PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers agreed to buy the Magpies for £300million before the Premier League (EPL) refused to approve the deal.
Mike Ashley has battled to resurrect the deal and has launched two legal challenges against the EPL – arbitration and an anti-competition case. The latter will soon be heard by the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), to determine if the case can go further.
But this takeover saga started well before the Saudi-bid when Ashley again put the club up for sale in October 2017.
From the first beginnings to the very latest – scroll and click through the pages to see our takeover timeline:
1. Sunday, May 26 - TAKEOVER ALERT
The Sun publish an exclusive from writer Justin Allen. They claim Newcastle has been sold to the Bin Zayed Group in a £350million deal. Sources at St James’s Park give a “no comment”.
Photo: Michael Regan
2. Monday, May 27 - Lift off from Dubai!
The Bin Zayed Group issue statement: It reads: “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". They say "terms agreed.".
Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE
3. Tuesday, May 28 - Sources confirm legitimacy
Sources at NUFC confirm the statement is genuine. On the record the Premier League and Newcastle United remain firm in their “no comment” stance. Claims that ‘proof of funds’ have been sent.
Photo: Tony Marshall
4. Wednesday, May 29 - Statement Mk2
A second statement from the group arrives, further clarifying their stance. The Bin Zayed Group's managing director Midhat Kidwai said: "Terms have been agreed between us and Mike Ashley." They confirm proof of funds sent and Premier League tests started. Sources elsewhere continue to refute this.
Photo: Ian MacNicol