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Premier League rebuff Newcastle United statement that they denied the takeover

Newcastle United have made their statement. The Premier League disagrees.

DIC negotiator Amanda Staveley takes her Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Newcastle United have released a statement on the proposed takeover by PCP Partners, the Reuben Brothers, and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Here is the statement in full (from the Official NUFC website):

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.

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.

Mike Ashley has taken aim at the Premier League in recent weeks following Amanda Staveley and her consortium’s withdrawal of their offer to purchase club, citing difficulties with the Premier League.

It has been an ongoing saga that seems to have no end in sight. Newcastle United fans have petitioned the Premier League to make a statement on the matter, which they did, and came across as disingenuous. The club have had to continue with their transfer business with less than half of their expected transfer budget. And while I would say they have done well with what was given to them, fans expected more. I expected more.

From the Athletic:

“This isn’t over,” one source on the buying side told The Athletic, but what that means is not clear. PIF’s attitude will be vital. They had led the original withdrawal and as majority partners in the consortium had the most clout. Privately, it was accepted that PIF would only officially come back to the table if acceptance by the Premier League was guaranteed. This is another snub.

PIF, rightfully so, feels some sort of way towards the Premier League on how they acted during this entire ordeal. It was expected that the deal would go through, instead, anger and fury followed the Premier League’s inaction and the public fallout between PCP and the Premier League.

The Premier League has attacked Newcastle United over their wording in their statement: “The club’s assertion that the Premier League has rejected the takeover is incorrect.”

Just how is it incorrect? The inaction by the Premier League speaks volumes of their intention and attitude towards the takeover itself. While not an outright denial of the takeover, miscommunication took hold, and both parties have acted poorly in the aftermath.

“The Premier League Board has, on a number of occasions, given its opinion about which entities it believes would have control over the club should the consortium proceed with the acquisition. That opinion is based on legal advice.” - Premier League

It is true that the Premier League believed that the Saudi Government had more of a say than previously asserted in negotiations. The PIF is nearly indistinguishable from the Saudi Government’s private fund, and therefore has caused confusion among money about just how much ownership the state of Saudi Arabia had. It was a cause of concern for the Premier League, and was even (and still is) a cause of concern for myself. While PIF did little to ameliorate that fear, the Premier League’s behavior was a downright denial of the sale.

The club have had to move forward with its transfer dealings, and while I would say they’ve done a commendable job, we need to recognize that Newcastle United’s statement wasn’t wrong. They said what they said.