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By ESPN Staff

Belgravia continue to pursue Newcastle takeover

The Belgravia Group is still pursuing its interest in Newcastle after seeing rivals Polygon pull out of the race to take over the club.

Polygon-backed St James' Park Group yesterday announced it would not be making an offer at the moment after holding talks with the major shareholders.

However, the Jersey-based Belgravia Group insists it is still involved in negotiations.

A spokesman said: 'We are still in talks and are still hopeful of doing a deal.'

Yesterday's announcement from the St James' Park Group came as little surprise on Tyneside despite months of speculation that a big-money takeover could be on the cards.

The news, though widely predicted, saw the club's share price fall significantly within hours.

While former chairman Sir John Hall and his son Douglas are understood to be keen to sell their holding in the club, which amounts to in excess of 40%, current supremo Freddy Shepherd has been less willing to relinquish his hold.

Shepherd has grown increasingly impatient with all the talk - particularly the suggestions emanating from the Belgravia camp which suggested in November that they would like to be in control before the January transfer window closes.

They could yet make an offer and there have been suggestions that the Polygon consortium's apparent withdrawal could be a ploy to smoke out the competition.

However, Shepherd has simply got on with business as usual and is currently working along with manager Glenn Roeder to strengthen his squad during the next four weeks.