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10th Sep 2020

The Premier League hits back at Newcastle United’s takeover claims

Wayne Farry

They rebuked Newcastle United’s claims that the takeover has been “rejected”

The Premier League has responded to a statement on Wednesday from Newcastle United regarding their failed takeover by a consortium including the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

In their own statement, released to the public on Thursday afternoon, the Premier League said it was “disappointed and surprised” by the Magpies’ statement.

They also rebuked Newcastle’s claims that the takeover had been rejected, but reiterated their prior comments regarding which entities would have control over the club should the takeover prove successful.

The Premier League said in response: “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.

“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 statement from the Premier League follows one from Newcastle on Wednesday night, in which the club stated their belief that the Premier League and CEO Richard Masters had not “acted appropriately” in their decision making process regarding the takeover.

The club also stressed that they had provided the Premier League with “overwhelming evidence” that the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia is independent and autonomous to the Saudi government.

“Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test,” read the statement.

“This conclusion has been reached despite the club providing the Premier League with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government.

“The club and its owners do not accept that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and the Premier League have acted appropriately in relation to this matter and will be considering all relevant options available to them.

“Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club. Mike continues to be fully supportive to Steve Bruce, the players and all the staff and wishes them well for the upcoming season.”