In what might (or not) be a pivotal turn in events. A statement to the Press Association  from the Bin Zayed Group details:

  1. Terms have been agreed between Bin Zayed Group and Ashley. This must mean a price and a method for payment. .
  2. That proof of funds has been made to Ashley and his solicitors and this was made as long ago as the 17/Apr/19.
  3. A document signed by both parties has been forwarded to the Premier League.

They are clear, unambiguous statements which require either correction or outright repudiation by Ashley or whoever acts for him or confirmation this thing is happening. Or Ashley now doesn’t want to sell or he is courting an alternative buyer for whatever reasons (a higher price) or he has a financial interest to hold onto the club for a while longer – possible rake-off from the next payment of TV money as per last year?

We already know – and this has been confirmed by United, that Due Diligence was completed.

Whatever the situation, Ashley and Newcastle United have to speak now. What a time to go on f*****g holiday! 

The full statement from Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Press Association is as follows:

 “In consideration of the numerous speculations in regards to the timelines of the acquisition of Newcastle United Football Club by Bin Zayed Group, we feel the need to issue this statement. Terms have been agreed between us and Mike Ashley; these terms have been reflected in a document, signed by both parties, which has been forwarded to the Premier League. The proof of funds statement was forwarded to Mike Ashley’s lawyers on April 17 2019. The so called fit-and-proper Premier League process is a standard procedure which will take time, and we are doing all we can to assist the Premier League during this process. We feel the need to clarify this point in order for the fans and the general public to understand the timelines.”

This is either a spectacular blag or it is a genuine, bona-fide attempt to buy Newcastle United.