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10-Sep-2020, 04:45 am

Newcastle claim Premier League did not act appropriately in failed takeover

Mike Ashley Newcastle

Newcastle United have confirmed the Premier League rejected a takeover bid from a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The club, owned by Mike Ashley, an unpopular figure with most Magpiessupporters, suggested on Wednesday the league and its chief executive Richard Masters had not "acted appropriately in relation to this matter".

A group of investors made up of the PIF, Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers had agreed a reported £300million deal with Ashley this year.

However, the consortium withdrew its bid in July complaining of "the prolonged process" following discussions with the Premier League.

Ashley and Newcastle said they were committed to the takeover, althougha number ofparties have subsequently been linked with alternative offers for the club.

But Ashley has now publicly addressed the issue through a club statement in which it was announced the Premier League and its Owners and Directors test rejected the deal, adding Newcastle would be "considering all relevant options available to them".

"Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and PIF based on its Owners and Directors test," the 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."

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