A Saudi-led consortium is no longer interested in taking over English football club Newcastle United, according to British media.

“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,” the group said in a statement to the Independent.

The consortium said in a statement that their decision had been taken with regret, saying it had been “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.”

“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,” it added.

The current owner of the English club, British billionaire Mike Ashley, put the club up for sale in 2017.

In April, the consortium had agreed a £300 million ($392 million) deal to hold an 80% stake in Newcastle United.

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