The Newcastle United takeover rumbles into a second week, and is sure to develop into a similar, drawn-out saga like the Rafa Benitez contract talks.
But during a question and answer session between supporters and Mark Douglas of the Chronicle, two throw away lines were included, which will keep optimism high among fans.
When asked if they thought the takeover will actually happen, he replied: “Let’s put it this way, I’m cautious. I know talks have taken place and there’s been a head of terms submitted.
“But when it comes to actually getting into the meaty part of the transaction – the Sales Purchase Agreement and the Owner and Directors Test – I’m not sure we’re there yet, whatever BZG [Bin Zayed Group] say.
“We’ll have to wait and see but I will say that BZG tell me they’re absolutely sure it’s going to happen.”
MORE NEWCASTLE STORIES
So firstly, the Bin Zayed Group have told the Chronicle they are “absolutely sure” they will become the new owners of Newcastle United in the coming weeks.
That is a very bold claim if they were not certain of backing it up.
If the group had any degree of doubt, then surely their language would not be quite so explicit.
It will lead many fans – me included – to think a deal may be further down the line than we know.
Which leads to the second intriguing comment by the Chronicle – “there’s been a head of terms submitted”.
Chronicle claims knowledge that letter of agreement signed by BZG and Ashley
A head of terms – also known as a ‘letter of intent’ or ‘memoranda of understanding’ – sets out the terms of an acquisition agreed in principle between the parties.
So, in essence, the Chronicle say they know that this agreement, albeit unofficial, has been signed by the Bin Zayed Group and Mike Ashley.
That is another big claim.
Reports over the last week or so have conflicted each other, with many national publications pouring scorn on the takeover, while other, more regionally based reporters – while keeping an air of caution – have legitimised much of what has been claimed from the Middle East.
Personally, I would always take the word of those who deal with Newcastle United on a daily basis, and is why my feelings mirror those of the Chronicle.
Between the takeover and Rafa’s contract, it promises to be another hectic, roller-coaster of a week for Newcastle fans… but that seems to be the norm nowadays!