Newcastle United’s hopes of getting their proposed takeover back on track could be set to enter a new messier phase of twists after the Chronicle’s latest reports on where the club stands.
What’s the story?
According to the Chronicle, Mike Ashley would see a bid to resume takeover plans delayed if he indeed chooses to appeal a High Court ruling to maintain faith in arbitration panel chairman Michael Beloff QC.
Ashley wanted to strengthen his hand following reported legal advice he received that Mr. Beloff could be deemed as biased ahead of a potential court battle to complete a deal with the consortium interested in buying the club.
Wrangling with the Premier League has already held back progress in moving takeover talks back on the rails and the appeal could ultimately add further delays to proceedings.
However, every indication suggests Ashley is prepared to accept the delays in a bid to boost his prospects of a successful sale.
In a statement given to Sky Sports, Ashley declared:
“Newcastle (are) fighting tooth and nail, the fans and the region are being denied what they deserve.”
The original High Court judgement summarises the crux of the dispute [obtained via the Chronicle]:
“The current owners of the shares in NUFC wished to sell their shares to PZ Newco Limited, which is ultimately owned by the Public Investment Fund, a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund (“PIF”).
“PLL (the Premier League) contends, but NUFC does not accept, that PIF is controlled by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (“KSA”).
“Section F of PLL’s Rules requires PLL to disqualify individuals and entities from acting as a ” Director ” of a club in certain defined circumstances and to refuse to agree a change of control or the proposed appointment of a director for like reasons.”
The takeover saga looks to rumble on ever-more as fans nervously await news as to whether a new chapter in the club’s history will indeed be written.
Amid swirling reports indicating uncertainty, one thing is for sure – the disputes between Newcastle and the Premier League looks set to become increasingly protracted.