Dundee United owner closer to Newcastle Jets takeover

By Jim SpenceBBC Sport
Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson was in Australian during December to talk to Jets officials

The sale of Australian club Newcastle Jets to Dundee United owner Stephen Thompson has moved a stage closer.

The Tannadice owner, who was in Australia recently to meet Jets officials, flew to London on Thursday for further talks about the deal.

But, while discussions are at an advanced stage, the move could fall foul of Scottish Football Association rules on dual ownership.

Any such move would require the approval of the SFA's main board.

Thompson would be required to seek approval from the board under the rules governing dual ownership and would need to provide a detailed business plan, along with certain guarantees on issues such as shareholding and fiduciary responsibilities.

In December, the SFA rejected Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's request to raise his shareholding in Rangers International Football Club to 29.9%.

Stuart Armstrong
The club have denied Celtic have made an approach for Stuart Armstrong

The Jets franchise has been for sale for some time, with owner Nathan Tinkler keen to offload the club that finished seventh in the A-League last season.

Jets officials travelled to England more than three months ago to seek out interested parties in the sale of the club.

It led to negotiations with Thompson, who owns just over 51% of the Scottish Premiership club.

Meanwhile, United say Celtic have made no approach for midfielder Stuart Armstrong.

Celtic have signed winger Gary Mackay Steven on a pre-contract agreement, leading to reports they had also made a move for Armstrong.

"There is no bid for Stuart Armstrong or anyone else, from Celtic or from anyone else," said a United spokesman.