Newcastle United fans received the news that they were dreading on Thursday evening: the Saudi-backed takeover had fallen through. The Premier League took four months to conduct its ‘owners and directors test.’ This was a timescale which was clearly too long for, not just, the willing buyers but for the fans as there was an outcry on social media after the news of the failed takeover.
However, this decision will benefit the clubs current chairman Mike Ashley – and only Ashley.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit everyone hard, that’s a given. Unemployment is likely to be on the rise – despite plateauing on data given by the Office of National Statistics, and we are likely heading towards a recession.
The recent national lockdown from late March to June meant Ashley’s chain of high street stores were closed, including his very own Sports Direct stores – which tried to bend the rules on two occasions. Obviously, this meant he was making no revenue or profit from any of the stores he owned.
However, as he will remain chairman of Newcastle, until a takeover is successful, he will be able to profit off the TV rights that will come from the club remaining in the top-tier of English football. In the 2018/19 season, clubs that were in the PL shared from a pot that paid out £2.4bn, where the Magpies were given £120m in total while the likes of Manchester City were given just short of £160m.
Despite this, Newcastle will likely would have received similar money this season and the one coming up. Nevertheless, it’s likely the Toon Army will still receive minimal investment from those higher up for the summer and January transfer windows – likely blaming the pandemic for the lack of investment.