The proposed takeover of Newcastle United will hinge on their Premier League status, according to Danny Mills.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Premier League defender delivered his verdict after a big update on the Saudi-backed takeover of the Magpies.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week the club are privately confident a takeover could go through as early as June or July.
The Premier League blocked a move last summer and Mike Ashley has launched legal action as a result.
There is a feeling the governing body’s hostility has waned as both sides remain committed to the deal.
On the pitch, Steve Bruce’s side are still battling for their Premier League survival after a winless run of seven games.
They are three points and one place above Fulham who occupy the final relegation place but have two games in hand.
Asked whether a takeover would rely on Newcastle staying in the Premier League, Mills told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I would say so, yes. Without a shadow of a doubt.
“It’s a completely different proposition buying a club in the Championship than it is in the Premier League.
“The whole money situation changes beyond belief. Literally at the blow of a whistle. When that final whistle goes at the end of the season, if Newcastle go down it changes everything, absolutely everything for potential investors.”
Mike Ashley has owned Newcastle for the last 14 years and has overseen two relegations to the Championships.
On both occasions, they have won promotion back to the top flight as champions the following season.