Government will not block Newcastle United takeover – Liz Truss
It is now exactly 77 days, eleven weeks, since the Newcastle United takeover was passed to the Premier League.
It was widely reported that on 9 April 2020, the relevant papers were passed to the Premier League by Mike Ashley and the prospective new owners, in order for them to conduct their process of approving the deal.
A frustrating eleven weeks later we are still waiting for confirmation that the Newcastle United takeover has been completed BUT by the same token, eleven weeks later there has been no statement or indication that approval will be denied.
Instead, it appears to be generally accepted that talks have been ongoing behind the scenes as to how the new Saudi owners can work best with the Premier League and especially, helping them to combat problems with TV piracy and protecting intellectual property, ahead of the Newcastle United takeover being announced.
Indeed, announcements / statements from Saudi government bodies in recent days have seen them now taking a proactive approach on these issues, seemingly ticking an extra few boxes for the Premier League.
What this 11 week silence / void has allowed though, is the chance for individuals and organisations to demand the NUFC takeover should be blocked, some coming from a genuine standpoint but many others simply opportunists trying to raise their profile and credibility by being seen to challenge the Saudi PIF investment in Newcastle United.
One of those is Angus MacNeil.
The relatively unknown SNP MP getting a ridiculous amount of attention when writing to the government to raise his opposition to the Newcastle United takeover, demanding it be blocked, passing his ‘private’ letter to the media to get the maximum exposure for himself.
It is embarrassing how much media attention and headlines were given to this lone MP’s attempts to be noticed, especially when you compare it to how little national media attention has been given to NUST this week engaging legal counsel to write to the Premier League on behalf of 10,000 members / fans, to represent their views, 97% of those voting in a members poll having backed the prospective new ownership.
What is extra embarrassing with Angus MacNeil’s attempts at attracting personal publicity, is that he knows fine well that any number of times the government had made crystal clear already that they wouldn’t get involved in the Newcastle United takeover, never mind block it. This further exposes his motivations for sending the letter.
Now it has been revealed that the government have responded to publicity seeker MacNeil.
With The Mail reporting that they have seen a letter sent by Trade Secretary Liz Truss to the SNP MP.
They say that the Trade Secretary makes absolutely clear that the Newcastle United takeover is purely a matter for the Premier League.
Liz Truss writing that the deal is: ‘a commercial matter for those parties and the Premier League… it is not for the government to intervene in the buying and selling of football clubs.’
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