Date: 30th May 2019 at 6:10am
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Telegraph journalist Luke Edwards has said that he is still “massively sceptical” over the potential Newcastle takeover, despite the new statement from the Bin Zayed Group. 

They released that yesterday, claiming that they had provided proof of funds and supplied paperwork to the Premier League.

The statement was met with silence from Newcastle and from Mike Ashley – seen as a good sign by some, including Sky Sports journalist Pete Graves.

However, Edwards said, “And I’m still massively sceptical. A new phrase popped into conversations this evening. “If they were so far along in the process they would have signed NDAs so why are they talking…”

In a follow-up email he said, “The key point being made above is Ashley doesn’t trust people who do their negotiations in public. It doomed Staveley, it meant he was never convinced by Kenyon, despite allowing letter to be published. Takeover deals that happen don’t get talked about in public like this.”

Edwards made these comments on his personal Twitter account on Wednesday night.

OPINION

You can interpret the statement from the BZG group and the silence from Newcastle in two very different ways. One one hand, you could say that the silence from Newcastle is a good thing. Why would the Bin Zayed Group make such patently and easily dismissible claims if they were false? And surely Newcastle would just come out and deny them if they weren’t true? However, it’s Mike Ashley selling Newcastle, not the club, and he might have his reasons for staying quiet. The other way is the Edwards stance. That Ashley doesn’t trust people who negotiate in public and that successful takeovers are normally conducted under NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) and the way this is being done doesn’t seem right. This is generally true. That doesn’t mean the deal is dead in the water, just like the silence from Newcastle doesn’t mean that the claims the BZG made are true. The truth is probably – as always – somewhere in the middle.