As the weeks tick by without any decision from the Premier League over the proposed Newcastle United takeover, it's no wonder fans are starting to become nervous.

The Saudi-backed £300m deal is still in the hands of the league's governing body, with issues of the human rights record of the Saudi regime and possible links with TV piracy companies dogging the process.

However, there remains confidence of a positive outcome - and with football returning in a few short weeks, some focus is now shifting towards on-field matter.

Here, Mark Douglas answers your questions in our latest NUFC Q&A.

Do you think the current points tally has any bearing on the takeover saga and causing a delay?

I don't think so. I've had it from a few sources that the Premier League has simply never dealt with a takeover quite like this in terms of complexities and legal ramifications. There's no timescale yet, but it could drag on for a few more days/weeks.

Have you heard anything from sports lawyers that provide a positive outlook on the takeover? Surely there are people out there that know if the PL can block this deal based on the information they’ve received about the Saudis one way or the other?

Nothing in relation to the process. But I sense the general feeling from those who know about this process and the law is that it will - eventually - pass. And if it doesn't, litigation is clearly an option for the group. It has got very messy indeed.

By the sounds of the noises coming from China and with the obvious links to the backroom staff being looked at. Surely Rafa Benitez has to the No 1 managerial candidate now?

Funnily enough, I was told a few weeks back that Rafa's contract in China meant he was probably not the easiest candidate for the manager's job. While I think there would be a massive mutual appeal of bringing him back, Benitez really doesn't like to break contracts. Have to be honest though, the prospect of him coming back would excite me.

There was a report from China saying Dalian were looking to replace Benitez with a Chinese manager. Have you heard anything like this Mark?

That's intriguing but I think it's largely speculation at the moment. As I said, the contact was just counselling against putting 2 + 2 together just yet. The situation in China is very complicated but if he became a free agent and takeover happens, why not?

Are you still confident the takeover will be passed?

On the balance of things, I still think it will. But I'd be lying if I said the length of the process wasn't a concern. Buyers still think it will, which is good sign.

What about the Hatice Cengiz (the fiance of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi) saying she is confident it will be blocked?

With respect to Hatice Cengiz - who deserves to be listened to, no doubt - I don't think she is privy to any information on the deal. As the Premier League have emphasised, it's a confidential process.

Any latest on the Matty Longstaff contract situation?

Nothing new after the latest reports this week. I'm not sure he will play again until it's resolved - and I think only a takeover can really see this one properly resolved.

How did the Sheffield United takeover go through when the person buying the club is an ex-member of the Saudi government?

I think the difference is the PiF is effectively the Saudi state, whereas the Sheff United owner is a member of the royal ruling family. So the questions being asked about this deal are related to how much you can tie the PiF to the issues surrounding piracy, for example.

Do you believe we’re likely to get a decision before the resumption of games? Waiting for the WTO?

I wish I could give you a definitive answer. It does feel as though that World Trade Organisation report has had an impact on the timescale. I'm just as frustrated/bored by this long-running saga as fans. It doesn't feel fair, does it?

Would you say the takeover will be resolved one way or another before July?

I thought it would have been done by now given knowledge of previous takeovers. I think it really needs to be done by then but with PL saying there's no timescale, I can't definitively say it'll be done by then. Buyers and sellers believed it would be resolved by now . . .

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I thought the piracy issues was historical as it ceased last year 2019

Just one of the many issues surrounding it that will be being thrashed out. The buyers are adamant nothing ties the people they're working with to piracy.

How can NUFC offer Matty Longstaff an improved contract yet they can’t sort the season ticket payments out?

Reports on Friday suggested everything is being run through the potential new owners. I guess Longstaff's deal is pressing for the club as they'll lose a valuable player if he goes. But the season ticket issue really, really needs to be sorted out. It is a very bad look for the Magpies.