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The Premier League have hit back at Newcastle United following the club's claims regarding the £300m Saudi takeover.
The Magpies released a statement on Wednesday evening, 'confirming' that England's top flight chiefs had rejected the bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).
This is a contradiction to the comments made by Premier League chief Richards Masters, who has always insisted no decision was made before the backers withdrew from the process last month.
Newcastle's unprecedented statement last night has now drawn a response from the Premier League, who have hit back.
"We are disappointed and surprised by the Newcastle United statement regarding its potential takeover by PCP/Ruebens/PIF," it read.
"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 what entities it believes would have control over the club should the consortium proceed with the acquisition.
"That opinion is based on legal advice. This means the potential takeover could proceed to the next stage should the relevant entities provide all appropriate information.
"They should 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 an individual; they were agreed unanimously by all Premier League board members."
Newcastle's own statement made fans aware that disgruntled owner Mike Ashley was still looking to sell.
The Sports Direct tycoon was committed to selling the north east outfit after 13 years at the helm.
But the PIF-backed deal was pulled off the table recently after an impasse due to the Owners' and Directors' test.
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“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," Newcastle's statement read.
“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.
“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.”
At present, the takeover remains off – while the Premier League continue to insist they did not reject the deal.
- Newcastle United FC
- Premier League
- Mike Ashley
- Steve Bruce
- Saudi Arabia
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