Newcastle subject of new £350m bid brokered by convicted fraudster as takeover takes twist | Football | Sport

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s potential sale of the club has taken a new twist as media mogul Henry Mauriss is reportedly waiting in the wings should the Saudi Arabia consortium’s offer be blocked.

Mohammed bin Salman is attempting to strike a £300m deal and he has enlisted the help of Amanda Staveley to make it happen.

Ashley has agreed to an exclusivity period which runs until early May after the Saudi chief paid a non-returnable £17m deposit and the papers were filed with Companies House.

However, the Premier League have yet to authorise Bin Salam’s takeover and they are said to be nervous over Saudi’s human rights record.

The Mirror claims that could open the door for Mauriss to rule over St James’ Park.

It is added that Chris Ronnie, a good pal of Ashley, has been brought in to broker the deal.

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The two cannot speak until next month because of the exclusivity rights signed with the Saudi consortium.

Ronnie is the former boss of JJB Sports and was imprisoned for four years in 2014 for fraud worth £1m.

The convicted fraudster apparently brought Mauriss to the table in January and it is thought he would have no further involvement once a deal is struck.

Mauriss made his fortune in the credit card and finance industry before becoming the CEO of Clear TV, a media company operating a number of platforms.

UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee that the ultimate decision lies with the Premier League.

However, if they do decide to block the bid then it could open the door for Mauriss to strike a deal with Ashley.

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