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Opinion

Newcastle United takeover – Premier League hiding behind ‘confidentiality’ is totally unacceptable

2 months ago
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I have been following the recent developments in the proposed Newcastle United takeover and these matters raise very serious issues.

We are told by the proposed buyer that the Premier League advised them ‘we won’t reject you but we won’t approve you either, so we’ll just sit here for month after month’ – this clearly shows the Owners’ and Directors’ test to be unfit for purpose.

The Premier League seem to be of the view they can refuse to answer any questions by stating the test is a confidential process and legal requirements are in place.

The stance taken by the Premier League is totally unacceptable, as the proposed takeover appears to represent a significant investment in the football club and wider community.

It would be very interesting to know the legal requirements / parameters of the test, and whether the Premier League’s stance is in breach of any Trade / Commercial Laws etc.

Furthermore, it would be helpful to have any information about the governance framework of the Premier League and whether a complaints and disputes process etc. is in place.

In addition, it would be interesting to know if there are any conflicts of interest i.e. considering the current sponsors of the Premier League.

The stance taken by the Premier League in this instance appears to set a very dangerous precedent and does not provide any transparency or accountability.

In my view, this matter should be referred to both the highest level of the football authorities and the UK government / select committee and requires a fully transparent independent review. It might be useful to seek specialist legal advice to consider the above etc.

Given the recent developments at Wigan Athletic FC, the Owners’ and Directors’ test of both the Premier League and Football League seem to be unfit for purpose.

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