The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has officially withdrawn its interest in taking over Newcastle United, citing an “unforeseeably prolonged process” to gain approval from the Premier League as the reason.

A joint statement released by PIF, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media on Thursday confirmed that “it has formally withdrawn its interest in pursuing the acquisition of Newcastle United Limited and Newcastle United Football Club Limited”.

The statement added: “With a deep appreciation for the Newcastle community and the significance of its football club, we have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United Football Club.

« We do so with regret, as we were excited and fully committed to invest in the great city of Newcastle and believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.

“Ultimately, during the unforeseeably prolonged process, the commercial agreement between the Investment Group and the club’s owners expired and our investment thesis could not be sustained, particularly with no clarity as to the circumstances under which the next season will start and the new norms that will arise for matches, training and other activities. ”

The takeover had been under consideration by the Premier League for 17 weeks without resolution, resulting in the agreement between the Investment Group and current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley expiring.

The statement also expressed gratitude towards Newcastle supporters who had welcomed the takeover.

“We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help,” it added.

“We would like to say that we truly appreciated your incredible expressions of support and your patience throughout this process. We are sorry it is not to be.

« Unfortunately the prolonged process under the current circumstances coupled with global uncertainty has rendered the potential investment no longer commercially viable. »

Ashley has now owned the Magpies since 2007 and this is not the first time hopes of a takeover have ultimately been dashed.