Although said to have been “put on ice” there was some news within the finance website – THIS IS MONEY – which claims that the Dubai based Bin Zayed Group has been having talks with an American Hedge-fund which comes with the backing of the Japanese investment group SoftBank (me neither) regards financing of the takeover of Newcastle United, a story which has been rumbling on painfully all summer. Click here The Mail also reckons BZG are in talks with the Fortress Investment Group as well.

Obviously this begs a number of questions namely amongst which are how come this is happening now and not way before any bid discussions were held? How does this compromise the claims proof of funds had been made back in April? A claim that was not denied by Newcastle United or the Premier League. How can a potential buyer of United be in this position given Due Diligence can only be commenced on the basis of proof of funds being demonstrated at the start of the process? Would any takeover by BZG represent a leveraged buy-out? Namely, would future club income be used to give the buyers ownership of the club? At the most spectacular level this is what has happened at man Utd and at the scuzzy end of the market it is what Stewart Donald and his greasy side-kick Charlie Methadone have done at Sunderland. Its not good.

Confidence in BZG has been draining over the last few weeks given their peculiar media strategy which appears to involve Pop Music DJs and other randoms in the Middle East but they remain only one of two parties we know are definitely still interested in liberating the club from the death grip of Mike Ashley. The other party has remained silent on where they are which is probably more cause for optimism than BZG who we’ll recall didn’t get the lickings of a dog when they approached Liverpool last year.

Is the Sheikh a fake? Answers on a post-card.

Naturally, Newcastle United has made zero comment again.