Later News May 22

End of Newcastle's Ashley nightmare? Sale to Saudi-backed consortium already approved, say reports

The Magpies should be bathing in oil money sometime next week.


According to reports, the Premier League has found nothing untoward in the way of Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed consortium taking over ownership of Newcastle United, and it will be left to the club to make the announcement once the financial matters have been concluded.


One claim that the deal had already received approval from the Premier League came from Forbes' Middle East office.  


There are objections to the sale of the club to the consortium from rivals of Newcastle United, but other clubs have no say in this matter.


Current owner Mike Ashley’s 13-year reign at St James’ Park will finally come to a close – much to the relief of many a Newcastle United fan – when the £300 million ($520 million) that the deal is worth goes into his coffers.


Newcastle were relegated twice to the Championship – in the 2008/2009 and 1015/2016 seasons – since Ashley bought over the club in 2007.  


WATCH: Throwback to Crystal Palace's 5-1 thrashing of Newcastle


Ashley said in 2016 that he regretted buying the club, and fans have resented him for his lack of investment in it – the club has sold top players while the stadium and training ground have been allowed to go to waste.


Now, with the financial power of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, and the Reuben brothers, who are British billionaires, fans of the Magpies can finally hope that their team can win some real silverware.


WATCH: Klopp gives his assessment of Newcastle


Meanwhile, the players and coach remain in the dark when it comes to their future at the club.


Goalkeeper Rob Elliot was unable to shed any light on the takeover itself, much less what will become of him at the club.


"Our futures could change drastically if new owners come in. When new managers come in, it's the same thing. I would love to be able to tell people something but I don't know, myself. Ninety per cent of the time, we find out from Sky Sports News like everyone else,” he said in an Instagram interview with The One Glove.  


Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said he was not aware of what’s happening, but backed himself to do what Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson did at Newcastle – turning them into a Champions League team again.


Which may be less than what the new owners might expect.


In which case, Mauricio Pochettino and Rafa Benitez are among the names that could replace him.


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