Newcastle confirm legal action against the Premier League

Newcastle United confirm they have taken legal action against the Premier League after hold up of failed takeover bid led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as club accuse top-flight body of leaking details of proceedings

  • Newcastle’s statement is their first public acknowledgement of the takeover 
  • The Saudi-led consortium pulled out of the £300m takeover offer in July 
  • A fans group sent a letter to the Premier League threatening legal action
  • The League responded by stating that the club had already initiated action
  • That broke club confidentiality leading Newcastle to launch a scathing attack

Newcastle have confirmed they have taken ‘arbitration proceedings’ against the Premier League following the failed £300m Saudi-led takeover earlier this year.

In their first statement publicly acknowledging the failed takeover from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the club also accused the League of having ‘leaked’ information in recent weeks. 

A Newcastle fans group last month sent a ‘Letter Before Action’ in which they threatened to take the League to court by claiming – according to The Shields Gazette – that the curtailment of the proposed takeover was in breach of anti-competition law in the UK.

Newcastle have confirmed they have taken ‘arbitration proceedings’ against the Premier League following the failed £300m Saudi-led takeover

In their first statement publicly acknowledging the failed takeover, the club also accused Richard Masters and the Premier League of having leaked information

The Premier League responded to Newcastle Consortium Supporters Limited’s  Gordon Stein and Keith Patterson in which they disclosed the club had already initiated such action.

But divulging that information to the fans group represented an alleged breach of the League’s confidentiality clause, with both parties now reportedly having to retain privacy now that the case is active, leading to Newcastle’s hard-hitting statement.

‘The club has previously not commented on the arbitration it is pursuing against the Premier League (‘EPL’) with respect to its conduct relating to the proposed takeover because of the confidentiality clause in the Premier League’s rules,’ the statement read.

‘However, the club is aware of public reports which state that, on 17 November, the EPL referred to legal proceedings with the club (e.g. social media posts referring to the ‘club’s own legal case’) in a letter to Newcastle supporters.

‘The source of some of the reporting is said to be the EPL. It appears, therefore, that the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter to some of those commenting in the public domain.

The statement comes after Sportsmail confirmed in September Mike Ashley would take action

‘The club understands that these will be matters of great concern to its fans and therefore considers that, in light of the information disclosed by the EPL, it has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response to this coverage.

‘The club makes no comment on the substance of the arbitration, but it can confirm that it has issued arbitration proceedings against the EPL.

‘It is unclear when those proceedings will be resolved, given the approach of the EPL and its lawyers, Bird & Bird. Nevertheless, the club will continue to use its best efforts to press for a fair, full and timely hearing of its claim.’

The news comes two months after Sportsmail stated Mike Ashley would take legal action with sources close to the current owner insisting he has a strong case against the League.

The consortium, which included Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners, withdrew in July

It also included Simon and David Reuben but economic reasons saw an offer withdrawn

The consortium – which includes Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers David and Simon – withdrew their offer in late July citing economic reasons and frustration with the League’s refusal to accept that they and the Saudi state were separate entities. The buyers also refused the League’s offer of independent arbitration.

Ashley then released a statement in which he accused the League’s chief executive Richard Masters of not acting ‘appropriately’ during the Owners and Directors Test and claimed the £300million deal had been ‘formally rejected’.

The League responded and claimed Ashley was ‘incorrect’ and said they were still waiting for ‘all appropriate information’ from the proposed buyers.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is chairman of the consortium who tried to buy the club

In spite of taking legal action, it is said that Ashley has not given hope of bringing the Saudis back to the table and is not motivated by winning compensation.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has previously said that the takeover is ‘dead in the water’ but sources close to Sportsmail claimed the Saudis would return were the deal to be guaranteed approval.

David Reuben’s son then raised hopes of a Saudi return to the table when he dropped a hint last month that the takeover is still after showing support for the ‘Letter Before Action’.

Jamie Reuben, son of David Reuben – appeared to hint that the deal was still alive last month

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