The Newcastle United takeover bombshell that has devastated fans

Something had to give. And it did.

Sixteen weeks after a £300million takeover of Newcastle United was lodged with the Premier League, it was withdrawn. The proposed deal, which led to the club being dragged into a geopolitical dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, ran out of time, according to the consortium behind it.

There was hope and expectation on Tyneside back in April when the deal was done. Now there’s trepidation. Was that bid the club’s only hope of a brighter future? We just don’t know.

The statement issued by the Saudi Arabia-backed consortium behind the bid, which alluded to their investment plans for the club and the city, didn’t make good reading for fans on Tyneside as they faced up to another season with Mike Ashley as owner.

“We were excited, and fully committed, to invest in the great city of Newcastle, and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit,” it read.

“We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its tremendous potential and build upon its impressive and historic legacy while working closely with the local community.”

United has long needed an owner with a long-term vision for the club – and an ambition for footballing success.

Ashley, we know, is not that owner – he’s admitted that much himself.

St James's Park.

And a season which had started with an anti-Ashley boycott has ended with a bombshell. What next?

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Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley.