IT was supposed to be the start of a new era at Newcastle United - instead, it has collapsed amid a torrent of claims, counter-claims and geopolitical hostility. As the dust begins to settle on Amanda Staveley’s failed attempts to engineer a Saudi Arabian-backed takeover of the Magpies, blame can be apportioned in a number of different directions.

For a start, serious questions have to be asked of Staveley’s consortium. For all that Mike Ashley has proved an intransigent figure in the past, agreeing a sale price with the Sports Direct boss was actually the easy part of attempting to gain control at St James’ Park.

From the moment the Premier League became involved, it was clear Staveley’s group, with its 80 per cent backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, were going to have some difficult questions to answer. Over the course of the last four months, they have either failed to produce an adequate response or have taken actions that have enflamed the situation rather than engendered a solution.

From the word go, Staveley and her backers must have known broadcasting piracy was going to be an issue. Qatar’s beIN Sport group have long been vocal critics of the Saudi Arabian regime, so given the broadcaster’s status as a key media partner of the Premier League, it was hardly a surprise that they made their opposition to any Saudi involvement at Newcastle abundantly clear.

Why wasn’t Staveley able to establish a clear divide between the day-to-day running of Newcastle and the senior government officials involved in the Saudi PIF? Why, when Premier League chief executive Richard Masters offered an olive branch in the wake of the WTO report into broadcasting piracy, did the Saudi state move in the opposite direction and ban beIN Sport from their country? Why were Staveley’s group repeatedly briefing there were “no red flags” when the noises coming out of the Premier League were the complete opposite?

By refusing to accept the reality of the situation, Staveley and her backers raised the hopes and expectations of Newcastle supporters to a level they were ultimately unable to meet. Yet if their promises proved to be empty, at least they were saying something. The Premier League’s wall of silence throughout the takeover process has been absolutely disgraceful, and in the wake of such a sorry saga, the governing body desperately needs to reform its procedures for dealing with takeover attempts.

It is now four months since the Premier League began conducting its owners and directors’ test, and in that time, its board has failed to deliver a single update on developments. There has been no timeframe, no indication into the issues it has been assessing and no response to the understandable worries and frustrations of Newcastle’s staff and fans. When even Steve Bruce is publicly demanding clarity, surely it is time to say something?

While no one expects a running commentary into the ownership test, to stay silent for four months is indefensible. The Premier League’s complete lack of transparency has led to confusion, anger and a vacuum that has been filled by rumours and lies. What does the governing body have to hide? Now the takeover deal has collapsed, it is imperative the Premier League provides a detailed account of what it has been doing since April.

Something has gone badly wrong, resulting in yesterday’s dramatic events. Billed as a new dawn, the latest chapter in Newcastle’s interminable ownership saga was merely another tale of what might have been.