News, Culture & Society

Premier League assures Newcastle fans that the ‘door is still open’ for a Saudi-backed takeover

Premier League chief Richard Masters assures Newcastle fans that the ‘door is still open’ for a Saudi-backed takeover of the club as Mike Ashley remains in open dialogue with consortium over possible £300m deal

  • The Premier League have assured Newcastle fans over a Saudi-led takeover
  • Richard Masters told NUST that the ‘door is still open’ for the takeover to happen
  • A £300m deal to buy the club collapsed over a dispute who would own the club
  • Premier League wished to make plain the link between club and Saudi Arabia 

The Premier League have assured Newcastle fans that a Saudi-backed takeover of the club is still possible.

On Wednesday, the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) were able to grill Premier League chief Richard Masters over why the £300million takeover of the club fell through last month, with the minutes released earlier on Thursday.

The frank 30-minute discussion saw the supporters’ group leave satisfied with Masters’ explanations and have been assured that the ball is firmly in the court of the Saudi-led consortium, should they decide to resume talks with Mike Ashley.

Richard Masters has assured Newcastle fans that a Saudi-led takeover is still possible

The supporters group also felt more sympathetic to the Premier League’s position, after fans slammed the organisation’s handling of the takeover.  

A statement said: ‘From a Trust perspective it’s now over to others to decide what happens from here. We all want the same thing. 

‘At the Trust we hope the people that matter can do whatever needs to be done to allow Newcastle United to progress to where it needs to be.’

More than 108,000 fans signed a petition demanding answers from the Premier League, with local politicians writing to Masters seeking clarity earlier this month. 

The Premier League CEO met with Newcastle United Supporters Trust to discuss the takeover

The Premier League CEO met with Newcastle United Supporters Trust to discuss the takeover

Last Friday, Masters broke his silence on the doomed deal in a letter to Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP for Newcastle Central, where he revealed that the Premier League board asked for a ‘clear determination as to which entities it believed would have control over the club’ once the deal had been completed.

As a result, the takeover reached an impasse because the buyers would not confirm whether the Saudi Arabian state would ultimately be in control of the club, as revealed by Sportsmail. 

PIF – which was due to take an 80 per cent stake of Newcastle – is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and its chairman is Crown Price Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto head of Saudi Arabia.

But the consortium had only put forward the name of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, as the Saudi representative on the new-look Newcastle board – and they refused the offer of arbitration to resolve the dispute.

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

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

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley remains in open dialogue with the Saudi-led consortium

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley remains in open dialogue with the Saudi-led consortium

However, Masters insists a deal is still possible should the consortium provide additional information to the Premier League over the takeover.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has remained in contact with the consortium about getting back around the table to sell the club. 

During the meeting, NUST also asked Masters if they had told the consortium there were ‘no red flags’ regarding the takeover in June and if other Premier League clubs has vetoed the consortium’s takeover.

Masters denied both suggestions, pointing back to his letter to Onwurah. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk