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Opinion

Saudi PIF consortium now ready to take on Premier League and accept baton passed by Newcastle fans ?

2 months ago
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It is now 15 days since the announcement of the collapse of the Saudi PIF led takeover of Newcastle United.

A joint statement released on behalf of the consortium, saying the offer to buy the football club was now pulled, after the Premier League refused to come to a decision either way, over the course of 17 weeks.

After the announcement, Amanda Staveley spoke to the media, with undoubtedly the permission / backing of the Saudi PIF and Reuben brothers.

She made some serious accusations about the conduct of the Premier League (see below), including: “They were saying ‘you know what, we won’t reject you but we won’t approve you either, so we’ll just sit here for month after month’.”

Amanda Staveley then making a very interesting request / rallying call…”It’s up to the fans now. Because if the fans want this back on then they’re going to have to go to the Premier League and say this isn’t fair.”

She did other interviews saying similar, then Mike Ashley (via Lee Charnley) said he was still 100% committed to getting the deal done with the Saudi PIF led consortium, before then the Reuben brothers themselves produced a public statement saying they were still fully committed to getting the go ahead.

The fans responded.

NUFC supporters putting up a petition calling for an independent investigation into the Premier League takeover process, so far over 108,00 Newcastle fans signing it.

Even better, an NUST initiative saw over 7,700 letters sent by Newcastle fans to their various local MPs, asking them to help their constituents to get clarity and transparency from the Premier League regarding their actions.

At the last count at least one in every eight of the 650 MPs had written to the Premier League demanding that they come out and give answers as to this 17 week process that produced no decision on approval or not. Indeed, according to Amanda Staveley, a process that would have seen the PL never deliver an answer either way.

Even the Prime Minister make a public announcement saying that the Premier League had to give answers as to what has gone on. The Independent Football Ombudsman doing the same.

Pressure piling on and on the Premier League.

Over 80 MPs, the IFO, the Prime Minister, yet 15 days on and the Premier League are sitting tight in their bunker.

Their plan seemingly to stick their fingers in their ears and at the same time give two of them (fingers) to the Newcastle fans, thinking they can just wait this out and the problem will go away.

Well we know they (PL) are good at that – waiting and hoping awkward things will just go away, we saw that in the 17 weeks farce of waiting for a takeover decision.

The Newcastle fans have responded to the call to action, they have called the Premier League to account, they have stimulated the interest and backing of the Prime Minister, the IFO and an incredible number of MPs.

However, fans can only do so much, they have done their part and the Saudi PIF led consortium have to now accept the baton being passed over from supporters, then do their bit.

The Saudi PIF led consortium have to now come out and hit the Premier League with everything they have got, otherwise what exactly was the point of rousing the fans into action?

If the consortium believe they are in the right then call out the Premier League on this.

They have the money and they have the best legal minds that money can buy, so surely now is the time for action.

All parts of the consortium were still apparently behind the deal still happening, Mike Ashley clearly is (finally, after 12 years of pretending to try and sell the club), so lets get it on. Expose the Premier League still further and force the issue.

With the Newcastle fans I think this is the point where they need to pass the baton, they have ran their race and done their bit, now the Saudi PIF led bidders have to finish this relay race off.

Amanda Staveley talking on 30 July 2020 to George Caulkin at The Athletic:

“The Premier League wanted the country, Saudi, to become a director of the football club.

“That’s what this is about.

“They were effectively saying ‘PIF wouldn’t be the ultimate beneficial owner, we believe it’s actually the government, therefore we want the country to become a director’, which puts them in an impossible situation. They feel they weren’t wanted by the Premier League.

“I hope the fans realise what’s happened, that this is a lot more complicated than it might seem. I want them to understand the whole thing about the directorship, that it would be impossible for a state to become a director.

“The Premier League made it so hard. It would be unprecedented. No country has ever become a director of a club. It’s ridiculous.

“They were saying ‘you know what, we won’t reject you but we won’t approve you either, so we’ll just sit here for month after month’. They could have told us all this before we exchanged. It’s up to the fans now. Because if the fans want this back on then they’re going to have to go to the Premier League and say this isn’t fair.”

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