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Opinion

Are Premier League still playing for time on Newcastle United takeover?

6 months ago
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I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago (Newcastle United takeover – Premier League playing for time?) about the Premier League dragging their heels.

I still feel that this is the case.

Despite the complexities that may be in the test (and from what I’ve seen there aren’t many), even allowing for the pandemic, eight weeks is an absolute joke.

In that article (on 20 May) I mentioned four things the league could be waiting for to make their life easier: the Government to intervene, either the sellers or buyers to pull out, or new evidence to make their decision a simple one.

Some of this seemed unrealistic at the time but since then the consortium are reportedly getting inpatient, Ashley is growing less cooperative and the World Trade Organisation report on TV piracy has reared its head.

Could it be that the league committee are waiting until the 15 June when the WTO report becomes public? Could the evidence be that damning that the league hope the Government decide to step in, or public support gets behind them enough to make a negative decision easier?

Either way, it’s unacceptable to wait eight weeks and that’s for sure.

Why? Well because the longer the process exceeds the norm, the more chance there is of negative evidence or further criticism.

It certainly feels like a free for all to derail the process at the moment. The less time taken, the less obstacles possible.

I had a good feeling about the deal but it’s diminishing with every day that passes.

Having heard it all, from the Government won’t intervene, or Ramadan was in the way, to the pandemic has delayed things, I’m now starting to ignore the reassurances, or calls that I’m a Geordie with a persecution complex.

Some said the deal was already done and it was a question of timing.

I now fear that the tests are satisfied in their current state but the outcry is making it impossible for the league to allow the takeover. They are scared stiff of an appeal and want a watertight case before disallowing it. Maybe hoping someone does it for them as I originally said.

One thing for sure, an appeal won’t be good for anyone as it will take ages and prevent any other buyers becoming involved. It’s never easy being a Newcastle fan but stay safe and watch your back anyway.

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