Premier League chief opens up on Saudi-funded failed Newcastle bid
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has responded to a plea for clarity over the failed takeover of Newcastle United.
PCP Capital Partners’ largely Saudi-funded £340 million ($445m) bid to buy the Premier League club collapsed recently.
Newcastle fans are unhappy with the failure to seal the deal, especially as the club’s current owner Mike Ashley is widely disliked on Tyneside.
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah asked Masters to discuss the collapsed takeover.
Masters confirmed that after an impasse was reached in the league’s owners’ and directors’ test, Amanda Staveley’s consortium, under which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is seeking to buy an 80 percent stake in the club, declined an offer of independent arbitration.
“In June, the Premier League board made a clear determination as to which entities it believed would have control over the club following the proposed acquisition, in accordance with the Premier League rules,” Masters wrote in a letter published on Friday.
“Subsequently, the Premier League then asked each such person or entity to provide the Premier League with 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.
“The Premier League recognised this dispute, and offered the consortium the ability to have the matter determined by an independent arbitral tribunal if it wished to challenge the conclusion of the board.
“The consortium chose not to take up that offer, but nor did it procure the provision of the additional information. Later, it (or PIF specifically) voluntarily withdrew from the process.”
Masters’ comments came after the consortium withdrew its bid for the club having waited in vain for the green light, although Ashley has insisted he remains committed to the deal 17 weeks after the matter went to the Premier League.