THE Saudi-Arabia backed attempt to complete a takeover at Newcastle United is officially over.

Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners have issued a joint statement with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund confirming their attempts to take control of the club from Mike Ashley are now at an end.

Staveley's group, which was 80 per cent funded by the Saudi PIF and also backed by propertly developers David and Simon Reuben, agreed a £300m fee with Ashley in April.

However, the takeover process has been embroiled in controversy ever since then, with the Premier League failing to ratify the change of ownership as their owners and directors' test dragged on for more than four months.

In the last couple of weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Premier League have not felt able to back Staveley's proposed buyout, amid wrangling over broadcasting piracy, human rights abuses and the working practices of the Saudi regime.

The process had clearly reached an impasse, prompting today's joint statement which confirms Staveley's group have formally withdrawn their offer.

The statement said: "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.

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

"To that end, we feel a responsibility to the fans to explain the lack of alternatives from an investment perspective.

"As an autonomous and purely commercial investor, our focus was on building long-term value for the Club, its fans and the community as we remained committed to collaboration, practicality and proactivity through a difficult period of global uncertainty and significant challenges for the fans and the club.

"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.

"As often occurs with proposed investments in uncertain periods, time itself became an enemy of the transaction, particularly during this difficult phase marked by the many real challenges facing us all from Covid-19.

"We feel great compassion for the Newcastle United fans with whom we shared a great commitment to help Newcastle United harness its tremendous potential and build upon its impressive and historic legacy while working closely with the local community.

"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.

"We wish the team and everyone associated with it much good luck and success."