Newcastle threaten Premier League with legal action as Saudi takeover rejection confirmed

Mike Ashley has slammed the Premier League claiming they have officially blocked a Saudi-funded £300m takeover of Newcastle United.

The United owner is threatening legal action after the league ruled the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the Reuben brothers and brokered by Amanda Staveley, could not pass their Owners and Directors test.

The Saudi’s pulled their cash from the deal a month ago after it stalled indefinitely.

The bid was mired in problems with the consortium claiming the PIF was not controlled by the Saudi government and refusing a request to name them as a director.

The Saudi state has failed to stop the illegal broadcast of Premier League matches in the nation allowing a pirate broadcaster beoutQ to show games and blocking beIN Sports who has the licence to show games in the region.

Ashley sanctioned a strongly worded statement on Wednesday night.



Newcastle United bosses aren’t happy

The club statement read: “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.

“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.”



Staveley’s Newcastle bid is now officially over

Ashley has pledged to keep supporting boss Steve Bruce in the transfer market and wished him well for the coming season suggesting there will be no quick resolution.

“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.”



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Staveley’s Saudi-funded consortium withdrew their controversial offer back in July.

Mirror Sport revealed in July that the PIF’s business plan, submitted to the Premier League, included a pledge to pump in £250million of extra cash to build a squad over five years – on top of the purchase price.

A month ago Premier League chief exec Richard Masters wrote to Tyneside MP Chi Onwurah saying: “Later, it (or PIF specifically) voluntarily withdrew from the process. This meant there was never any point where the Premier League board was asked to make an assessment on the suitability of all members of the consortium.”

Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman is the chairman of the PIF, yet the buyers claimed it was totally independent of the Government.

Masters said the Premier League wanted to make a “clear determination as to which entities it believed would have control over the club’ and asked each ‘person or entity’ to provide the ‘additional information which would then have been used to consider the assessment of any possible disqualifying events’.

“In this matter, the consortium disagreed with the Premier League’s determination that one entity would fall within the criteria requiring the provision of this information,” Masters wrote.”

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