Search icon


29th Sep 2021

Premier League ‘abused its position’ in Newcastle takeover bid, tribunal hears

Callum Boyle

An online competition appeal tribunal took place on Wednesday afternoon

The Premier League ‘abused its position’ after it was ‘influenced’ by other clubs in the run-up to the blocking of a Saudi Arabian-led takeover, a tribunal has heard.

A barrister representing the club at the Competition Appeal Tribunal, which will decide whether the Premier League was in breach of anti-competition laws, made the claim.

The tribunal also heard claims from Daniel Jowell QC that media organisation Beln Sports and a number of ‘major Premier League clubs joined in lobbying against the takeover deal.’

This, Jowell said, led to an “unfair application of rules” and an “abuse of its position which distorted competition.”

The consortium looking to buy Newcastle Untied last summer were unable to complete a £300m deal and walked away from a proposed takeover after a dispute with the Premier League over whether members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling government would also become directors of the club, meaning they would have to undertake the league’s owners’ and directors’ test.

The main leader who intended to supply the funds, Mohammed bin Salman, had been accused of human rights abuses, which he denies.

The company Beln Sports is in disagreement with Saudi Arabia in relation to the piracy of Premier League matches, which the Qatar-based company currently has the rights to.

Newcastle have since then been locked in two separate legal disputes over the competition appeal tribunal and who would actually run the club should the takeover be completed.

During the competition appeal tribunal hearing, Daniel Jowell QC stated that the collapse of the takeover had cost Newcastle losses “in excess of £10m” and that the Premier League had not “carried through with its threat to stop the club participating in the competition.”

Jowell then went on to say: “If the Premier League came to its senses and reversed its decision, we hope [the buyers] might be prepared to go forward on similar terms.”

The Premier League has so far refused to comment on the proceedings, as per the BBC. 

Related links: