Premier League says Newcastle ‘incorrect’ on Saudi Arabia-led takeover claim

The Premier League says Newcastle’s claim it rejected a proposed takeover of the club from PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) is “incorrect”.

Newcastle hit out at the Premier League in a statement on Wednesday, saying it rejected Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed bid to purchase the club, and they will be “considering all relevant options available”, over the organisation’s handling of the proposed takeover.

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The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters has told Sky Sports News he sympathises with Newcastle supporters, and says the top flight’s owners’ and directors’ test remains under review.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been looking for a buyer of the club for over a year. He is said to have been growing frustrated over the continued sale process, and is understood to be considering legal options.

A statement from the Premier League 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 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.

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“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.”

Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis have arrived at St James’ Park ahead of the start of the new 2020/21 campaign, and Ashley flew in by helicopter on Wednesday afternoon to meet the trio.

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