Prem hit back at Newcastle as bitter Saudi takeover row escalates… but open door to £300m deal still being completed
10th September 2020

THE Premier League has hit back at Newcastle United as the pair's row over the Toon's Saudi-backed takeover escalates.

The deal looked dead and buried after the consortium fronted by Amanda Staveley withdrew their £300million offer in July.

Yet Newcastle owner Mike Ashley hit back this week to confirm the bid was officially rejected.

And in an explosive statement, the furious Sport Direct chief accused the Prem and its CEO Richard Masters of acting “inappropriately” and now could take legal action.

The Premier League has now threatened to further the bad blood between the two by claiming that Newcastle's claims are incorrect.

A statement read: "The Premier League was disappointed and surprised by the Newcastle United Football Club statement regarding its potential takeover by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

The Premier League was disappointed and surprised by the Newcastle United Football Club statement. The club’s assertion that the Premier League has rejected the takeover is incorrect.

"The club’s assertion that the Premier League has rejected the takeover is incorrect.

"The Premier League Board has, on a number of occasions, given its opinion about which entities it believes would have control over the club should the consortium proceed with the acquisition. That opinion is based on legal advice.

"This means the potential takeover could proceed to the next stage should the relevant entities provide all appropriate information.

"They would then be subject to a suitability assessment by the Board. As an alternative, the Board has repeatedly offered independent arbitration as a way forward since June.

"It is also incorrect to suggest these decisions were taken by any individual; they were agreed unanimously by all Premier League Board members."

The PIF was set to buy an 80 per cent stake in the Magpies while Staveley’s PCP Partners and the Reuben brothers taking 10 per cent each.

But the Prem said they could not approve the deal on piracy grounds after concluding the Saudi state and PIF were not separate legal entities.

And last month, the takeover looked dead and buried as Masters revealed that Saudi Arabia refused to take these concerns to tribunal.

Speaking earlier this week, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce admitted he feared the sack while the takeover hung in the balance.

Bruce, who has spent £35million on new signings Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis this week, said: “A new brush always sweeps clean, so I was under no illusions of what might be coming.

“I always said, whatever is best for the club, I would go along with. If that means a takeover and I wasn’t there, then I was always of that mindset.”

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