Legal firm statement: Mike Ashley engages them to take on Premier League in NUFC takeover dispute
Mike Ashley released a statement on Wednesday (9 September) accusing the Premier League of not acting ‘appropriately’ in rejecting the Newcastle United takeover.
The Premier League replying the following day with their own statement (see both statements below) absolutely dismissing the NUFC owner’s claims.
Now on Monday morning, London based barristers Blackstone Chambers have confirmed that Mike Ashley has engaged them to act on his and the club’s behalf in taking on the Premier League.
Blackstone Chambers announcement – Monday 14 September 2020:
‘Newcastle United FC and the Premier League
Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.’
Official Club (Mike Ashley) statement on Newcastle United takeover situation – Wednesday 9 September 2020:
‘Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.
This conclusion has been reached despite the club providing the Premier League with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government.
The club and its owners do not accept that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and the Premier League have acted appropriately in relation to this matter and will be considering all relevant options available to them.
Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club.
Mike continues to be fully supportive to Steve Bruce, the players and all the staff and wishes them well for the upcoming season.’
Premier League statement in response to Mike Ashley’s statement / claims – Thursday 10 September 2020:
“The Premier League was disappointed and surprised by the Newcastle United Football Club statement regarding its potential takeover by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).
“The club’s assertion that the Premier League has rejected the takeover is incorrect.
“The Premier League Board has, on a number of occasions, given its opinion about which entities it believes would have control over the club should the consortium proceed with the acquisition. That opinion is based on legal advice.
“This means the potential takeover could proceed to the next stage should the relevant entities provide all appropriate information. They would then be subject to a suitability assessment by the Board. As an alternative, the Board has repeatedly offered independent arbitration as a way forward since June.
“It is also incorrect to suggest these decisions were taken by any individual; they were agreed unanimously by all Premier League Board members.”
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