Steve Bruce held a joint press conference with new, record signing Joelinton on Wednesday, and during it, he was asked about any reassurances he had received regarding a potential takeover of the football club.
Bruce replied he had not received any, and any takeover was not even spoken about during talks about him becoming the new head coach.
But it was a throw-away line included in the report by Mark Douglas for the Chronicle that will feel like a knife in the heart to many Newcastle fans today.
When talking about Bruce’s comments about the possibility of a takeover being mentioned during his negotiations, he wrote: “After a summer of speculation about the intentions of the Bin Zayed Group – whose takeover bid is now as good as over – the club is set to remain in Ashley’s hands for a few months longer.”
After all the ecstasy from fans when the news broke of a deal being agree between the Bin Zayed Group and Mike Ashley, this latest update will feel like the powers from above making a twisted joke at their expense.
In a summer like no other, fans have gone from potentially thinking they could sign some of the world’s top talent, to wondering if Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll or Charlie Austin might come in to make the numbers up.
Newcastle fans will see this as a hammer-blow to their hopes for the future
But it seems the harsh reality is – yet again – another possible sale of the club has come and gone, with the derided owner set to continue at the helm.
Fans will be utterly devastated, after many genuinely thought this time it would be different.
With the club not once dismissing the speculation, they felt it was a sign of authenticity of the deal.
But alarm bells started ringing when silence reigned, and despite hope that it was just down to non-disclosure agreements being in play, when an ‘update’ was revealed from a UAE radio host on Twitter, any credibility to the claims began to dwindle.
How genuine the talks were, or why they have broken down – assuming that they have – may never be known, as the club maintain their frustrating silence on the subject.
But for fans, it is a bitter pill to swallow, as all hope for the future may have just disappeared with Sheikh Khaled and his consortium.