Alan Shearer (Getty Images)
There is anger among Newcastle supporters over the failed
Saudi-led takeover of the club, former Magpies striker Alan Shearer has said.
Shearer, who also managed the Tyneside club briefly in 2009,
said fans’ hopes had been raised of a change of ownership which would enable
them to truly compete with the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.
The parties involved in the proposed takeover released a
statement on Thursday announcing they had withdrawn their offer, blaming among
other things the “prolonged process” involved.
It is understood the Premier League, which was conducting
its owners’ and directors’ test on the bidders, had concerns that the Saudi
Public Investment Fund was too closely linked to the kingdom’s rulers.
Shearer told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday morning:
“There’s a lot of anger, understandably so, and a massive amount of
“They want their club to compete, they want their club
to move forward, that’s why yesterday was such a disappointing day.”
Shearer added: “We can only hope and pray that new
owners come in at some stage and take the club back to where it belongs because
that’s what the fans of Newcastle deserve.”
The withdrawal leaves Mike Ashley still in charge at St
James’ Park. He is understood to have secured a £17 million non-refundable
deposit from the Saudi-led consortium.
An American businessman, Henry Mauriss, has been linked with
a takeover bid for the club.
The Premier League was urged by human rights groups to
reject the Saudi bid over its record, while the kingdom was criticised by the
World Trade Organisation for failing to do enough to tackle piracy.
A WTO report issued last month found the beoutQ network,
which illegally broadcast a range of sporting events including Premier League
matches, had been facilitated by the Saudis.
It is understood the Premier League’s chief concern, and
which it sought most information on, was the relationship between the PIF and
the kingdom’s rulers.
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