American rivals Saudi Newcastle takeover bid with £350m offer for club

That figure is £50m more than the price agreed with Newcastle’s owner by a consortium involving Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and supported by Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley.

With Ashley having exchanged contracts with the largely Saudi-funded consortium and received a non-refundable £17m deposit, the new bid remains, for the moment at least, strictly academic. The only way Mauriss’s offer could succeed is if the Premier League does not approve the deal it has been considering for the best part of three months.

Should the Saudi-led proposal fail the league’s owners’ and directors’ test, Mauriss, the 56-year-old, Los Angeles-based chief executive of Clear TV who is understood to believe he could take control of Newcastle as early as September, would be free to finalise a fresh agreement to end the sports retail tycoon’s 13-year ownership of Newcastle.