Credit: PA

Newcastle United’s arbitration hearing designed to resurrect a takeover led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has been adjourned until the start of next year.

The delay has been caused by issues of disclosure of information on both sides of the legal argument, but will come as an enormous frustration to supporters who remain desperate for the takeover to go through.

It will also have a huge impact on manager Steve Bruce whose transfer plans have effectively been put on hold and his budget unknown as Ashley refused to sanction any major signings while arbitration was taking place.

The case was due to start today, but both Newcastle and the Premier League released a joint statement this evening confirming the hearing has been delayed by several months. That is likely to mean Ashley remains as owner for the whole of next season, unless he decides to sell to another interested party.

The statement read: “The parties attended a hearing today in the case between Newcastle United and the Premier League.

“ The main hearing of the arbitration has regrettably now been adjourned until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence. The parties will be making no further comment at this time.”

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