The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) had been part of a three-party agreement between PCP Capital Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm founded and run by British entrepreneur Amanda Staveley and the firm real estate agency Reuben Brothers, who wanted to buy. the club of English businessman Mike Ashley.
“With deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the importance of their football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring the Newcastle United Football Club,” the consortium said in a statement on Thursday.
“We do it with regret as we were excited and fully committed to investing in the great city of Newcastle and we believe we could return the club to the position of its history, tradition and fan merit.
“Unfortunately, the protracted process in the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has made the potential investment no longer commercially viable.”
The Premier League board had been evaluating the offer for several months since it was first introduced in April.
Before an approval can be made, any successful bid must pass the test of the owners and directors of English football, which assesses the suitability of the property groups.
The consortium added that the situation had been complicated by a lack of clarity stemming from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“As is often the case with proposed investments in uncertain periods, time itself became an enemy of the transaction, particularly during this difficult phase marked by the many real challenges facing us all from Covid-19,” the statement continues.
“We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its enormous potential and harness its impressive and historic legacy by working closely with the local community.”
The proposed acquisition had received vocal opposition from human rights groups, among others.
But for many Newcastle fans, the news about the purchase proposal was welcome.
After 13 years under the ownership of Mike Ashley, the British businessman who runs the retail brand Sports Direct, the feeling is that the club has been famous for investment for too long.
Possibly explains why a survey by the Newcastle United Supporters Trust in April found that 96.7% of the more than 3,397 fans surveyed were in favor of the inauguration.
Earlier this week, the Kingdom of Bahrain bought a 20% stake in the French side of Paris FC, the latest reflection of the growing influence of the Middle East in European football.
For Newcastle, who finished 13th in the Premier League last season, the search for new owners continues.