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NUFC takeover news LIVE: Ashley running down the clock on Magpies stint

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NUFC notebook

Newcastle United’s would-be owners have held talks with the city council in what appears to be the clearest indication yet that there are wider plans for investment in the region alongside possible rejuvenation of the Magpies.

The deal remains with the Premier League for sign off with no timeframe for when the green light or an announcement will be made.

But background work has been going on alongside the takeover, which would see the Saudi PiF take an 80% stake in the club while property developers the Reuben Brothers hold a 10% stake and Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners have 10%.

A general view of the stadium from outside St James' Park (Image: PA)

That includes contact between the group and executives at the city council over plans for the future, with at least two long conversations being held recently to discuss how United could be at the centre of civic life in Newcastle.

Possible renaming of the number nine bar – with the possibility of returning it to the original which bore Alan Shearer’s name – and the East Stand after a club legend have been among two “easy wins” mentioned but there have been other deeper discussions. Building on the club’s relationship with organisations in the city (which, to be fair to the current regime, has improved in recent years) is key to winning hearts and minds in the city.

Although fans will be anxious to hear what changes are envisaged to help the club compete with the Premier League’s big guns, those close to the buying side have always emphasised it is a “long-term project” and investment.

Manchester City’s owners transformed the east end of that city over years but there’s no blueprint just yet for exactly what any investment would look like.

This is the sixth week of checks and despite surges of excitement that an announcement could be soon, the situation remains that Premier League confirmation and transfer of funds are required to complete the buy out.

It’s understood that this deal has been one of the most complex the Premier League has ever dealt with. The process has required lawyers and outside investigators to look into stacks of sensitive information and interrogate objections from several parties. But buyers’ side sources insist there have been no red flags raised and remain hopeful of an announcement soon.

You can read the full NUFC notebook here.

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