Newcastle United has been awash with endless takeover tales this summer – from the apparent incoming Arab riches, Kylian Mbappe and Jose Mourinho to the meagre pickings of a buy now, pay later American investment firm.
But, despite all of the rumour and conjecture, claims and counter-claims, statements and radio silence from Newcastle United, Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley remains the owner at St James’s Park.
Sheikh Khaled, the Bin Zayed Group, some mystery Chinese, some more mystery Americans, GACP Sports, Peter Kenyon and Joseph DaGrosa – here’s every development in a summer that promised change and prosperity for United, but delivered nothing more than the status quo, with a dialling down of quality in the dugout, and on the pitch, as well as dwindling numbers on the terraces.
9. Sunday, June 30 - Rafa, the end
Mike Ashley has blamed the Bin Zayed Group for Rafa Benitez’s departure at Newcastle United, according to the Mirror. They claim Ashley ended contract talks with Benitez following discussions with would-be buyer Sheikh Khaled. Benitez’s contract comes to an end.
Photo: Alex Broadway
10. Monday, July 8 - Obscure statement time!
The Bin Zayed Group have issued a fresh statement on their efforts to takeover Newcastle – this time, bizarrely, through Redding. It read: "Both parties have worked diligently in finalising a deal, none more so than ourselves."
11. Saturday, July 20 - Concerns about BZG funding
Claims from the financial publications and the City that the Bin Zayed Group’s bid will be linked in to US hedge funds. This is denied privately by sources close to the bid.
Photo: Chris Hondros
12. Friday, July 26 - THAT Ashley interview
Mike Ashley speaks to Mail about his Newcastle ownership. Claims he is a willing seller. On BZG he said: "The last bid, the one from UAE, he's a prince and he's got £38bn or £100bn, all these numbers — well, why would you even care what you're paying then? What difference would £10m either way make?"
Photo: Jordan Mansfield