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Premier League clubs blocked Newcastle United takeover because of fears of Saudi power? – Lee Clark

11 months ago

Lee Clark has been talking about the Newcastle United takeover situation.

The former NUFC midfielder saying that he though that finally we were set to see the back of Mike Ashley.

The club’s owner finally agreeing to sell the club after over a decade of pretending he was was trying to sell Newcastle United, only for this Premier League farce to ensue.

Despite seller and buyers signing a deal and a non-refundable £17m deposit paid to secure that, for still to be discovered reasons, the Premier League refusing to make a decision.

There have been increasingly widespread claims that a small number of clubs have undue power over decisions that are made and as part of that, we have seen claims that these established powerful clubs felt threatened enough by potentially ambitious new owners at Newcastle, to try and stop the deal. Indeed, Liverpool and Spurs have been named as two of the clubs that were allegedly doing everything they could to stop the consortium taking over at St James Park.

Lee Clark has speculated whether this is indeed close to the truth, saying: ‘You wonder if they are fearful about how quickly Newcastle could they become a powerful club in the Premier League with the finances they could’ve been getting from a new ownership.’

Manchester City have felt this to be the case in recent years for them and indeed the other powerful Premier League clubs sent a letter to UEFA regarding Man City’s ban from European competition, as a decision was awaited earlier this year on their appeal. Man City wanted any ban suspended until the decision was made but nine Premier League clubs, bizarrely including Newcastle and Burnley, lobbied against this by signing the letter alongside those clubs at the top. As it happened, the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) made their decision quicker than expected, before any ban came into force. Man City ending up with a slap on the wrist instead of the original two year ban.

Newcastle fans would love to see a ‘slap on the wrist’ instead of what looks a disastrous time for the club if this takeover doesn’t happen.

Lee Clark speaking to Tribal Football:

‘I should have stuck to my exact words that I wouldn’t believe the takeover would happen until I saw the new owners standing in front of St. James’ Park and I was proved right on that one. But I think I got sucked in that this deal was done, just as every other Newcastle fan did.

Because what had happened, which never happened previously, was that Mike Ashley had actually accepted a bid. He had taken a non-refundable deposit so he was happy with that. So we all thought that was the main barrier broken and that it would be a matter of time. But unfortunately it dragged on over 17, 18 weeks and there must have been issues and obviously they’ve pulled out.

There is talk back in the UK that the Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley would like to resurrect the deal. Mike Ashley, through Lee Charnley, has said he would to still be open to the deal happening. So there is a little glimmer.

At the moment there is a lot of despair around Newcastle because the fans had their hopes built up on what could be in front of them and set up for the future, but unfortunately that has been taken away.

If Staveley was correct about other teams not wanting the takeover to happen, then that’s very, very disappointing.

I’ve always been somebody who believes in just looking after your own club. Let everybody get on with their own business. But it seems like a common theme today as Manchester City have accused certain other Premier League clubs of getting involved in their case as well. It seems that the clubs in the Premier League, with the power that they have are using it for various different things now. They are getting involved with other football clubs issues.

It’s never been the way I’ve looked at doing things, I’ve always just believed in doing things right for your club and let all other clubs crack on with what they need to do. But, with the money that is involved and the power these clubs have, it means they are getting involved in other situations with other football clubs.

I’d be extremely disappointed if it was one of the reasons why it took so long. You just wonder what their agenda is if that is the case.

You wonder if they are fearful about how quickly Newcastle could become a powerful club in the Premier League with the finances they could’ve been getting from a new ownership.’


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