The 10 biggest blunders of the Mike Ashley era at Newcastle United – in pictures

Unpopular British businessman will remain as Magpies owner after collapse of Saudi-backed deal to buy club

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Just when it seemed the end of controversial owner Mike Ashley was nigh for Newcastle United fans, their dreams have been dashed by the collapse of the Saudi Arabian-backed bid to buy the club.

The consortium – that included Saudi's sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and British property tycoons the Reuben brothers – made a £300 million (Dh1.36 billion) offer earlier this year.

But, after growing frustrated at the drawn out process of the league's owners and directors test and concerned by the uncertainty of a world under the shadow of Covid-19, the group decided to withdraw their bid on Thursday.

The decision means Newcastle are a club stuck in limbo under the ownership of British businessman Ashley, much to the frustration of a fanbase desperate to see new investment and a change in mentality.

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley has suggested that Ashley remains "100 per cent committed" to the Saudi bid, but there appears little chance that the deal can be resurrected.

So with the Ashley era seemingly now heading into another season, we take a look why he is so disliked on Tyneside and pick out the biggest blunders made during his spell as owner that started in 2007.

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