Newcastle’s £300m takeover collapsed because of concerns the Saudi Arabian state would control the club as it’s revealed Premier League’s offer to break the deadlock was REJECTED by consortium during crucial Owners and Directors Test

  • Newcastle’s £300m proposed takeover bid dramatically fell through last month
  • Sportsmail can reveal it collapsed due to a dispute over who would own the club
  • Premier League wished to make plain the link between club and Saudi Arabia
  • Offer to place the issue in arbitration was rejected before the buyers pulled out
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Newcastle United’s takeover collapsed in a stalemate over whether the Saudi Arabian state would be in control of the club after the deal went through, Sportsmail can reveal.

A petition approaching 108,000 signatures has now been raised, calling on the Premier League to explain their reasons for delaying the takeover, after Mike Ashley accepted a £300million offer from a consortium made up of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, the Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley.

Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, has been personally targeted, with his home address circulated on online fan forums. 

The dispute concerned the completion of a key Premier League form in the owners and directors test regarding club control and ownership — and the 80 per cent stake in the club that would reside with Saudi Arabia.

The Premier League wished to make plain the link between the Saudi Arabian state and Newcastle, but met resistance. An offer to place the issue in arbitration to break the deadlock was also rebuffed before the consortium announced it was pulling out. The Premier League have never rejected the Newcastle takeover.

The lengthy legal dispute over state ownership explains why the process dragged on for months, with the Premier League reluctant to make a definitive ruling. 

What seemed like inertia on the Premier League’s part was in fact an impasse, with the League refusing to recognise the Saudi Arabia PIF as different to or independent from the state, given that its chairman, Mohammed bin Salman, is also the de facto head of Saudi Arabia.

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, was to be the principal Saudi representative on the Newcastle board, but the Premier League were unhappy the direct link to state governance was not being made clear. This sparked fears the owners and directors test would not be passed. It was at that point arbitration was suggested with the League seeking an independent ruling on who would own Newcastle.

If an arbitrator had ruled in Newcastle’s favour, the Saudis would have been required to go ahead with owner registration. This would have given the League the right to call Newcastle’s ownership to account over TV piracy by network beoutQ.

Article Credit: Daily Mail

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