Saudi bidders responsible for Newcastle United Takeover arbitration delay? – Report
We are now looking at 2022 before we could potentially see a Newcastle United Takeover happen.
At least that is, if indeed it would be the Saudi financed consortium who would be the new owners.
A joint statement (see below) released on Monday night from both sides (Mike Ashley / NUFC and the Premier League) stating: ‘The main hearing of the arbitration has regrettably now been adjourned until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence.’
A lot has been said in the hours that have followed last night’s news and as usual, it is the Newcastle United fans who are the ultimate sufferers in all of this.
After 14+ years of stumbling along, sometimes falling (into the Championship), with Mike Ashley, to now be ‘looking forward’ to simply more of the same, is a real kick to the bits where it really hurts.
Maybe the most interesting / frustrating part of it all, is that this delay due to BOTH sides having issues when it comes to disclosure of information.
I know that it is fashionable to blame absolutely everything on the Premier League…and I have no doubt they have behaved disgracefully in many ways during this Newcastle United Takeover nightmare, however, it would be very naive to believe that the Premier League are 100% responsible for this takeover going anything but smoothly.
I know he has a great talent for annoying people, particularly Newcastle fans, and he still holds a torch for Henry Mauriss (if he even exits…?) one day becoming the new NUFC owners, however, on this occasion I do think Luke Edwards of The Telegraph is on the money with the following:
‘Neither the buyers, whose legal challenge has been led by Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, or the Premier League were willing to provide all of the relevant information needed for the panel to make a decision, forcing the adjournment.
That would suggest that the Saudi Arabian government has not helped Ashley win the case by providing the information asked for by the Premier League last summer when the takeover collapsed.
The Premier League judged that PIF was controlled by the Saudi State, meaning the chairman of the investment fund, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, would need to be assessed under the terms of their owners and director’s test.
This was rejected by the buyers, who also refused the offer of arbitration more than 12 months ago, only for Ashley to take it up with the Premier League when PIF withdrew and he lost out on the £340m sale price agreed.’
Obviously we’d all love to know what the details / problem are on the Premier League side, when it comes to ‘issues with the disclosure of evidence’…
However, it has to be a concern if potentially the exact same issues surrounding passing the Saudis through the Premier League process still exist, leading possibly to ‘issues with the disclosure of evidence’…
Luke Edwards also says in his Telegraph piece that his information is that: ‘both sides have known for some time that the hearing would be adjourned because of the lack of evidence provided, which raises questions as to why Newcastle have failed to carry out any transfer business since the players returned to pre-season training a fortnight ago.’
I think that this is pretty certain to be correct as well, the legal teams on both sides will have been working for some time ahead of the scheduled arbitration hearing and will have come to this conclusion long before it was made public last night.
The big question is what next?
Will Mike Ashley now consider selling at a market price to some other buyer, or will he grimly try to hold on and get the extra riches the Saudis have agreed to give him, over and above the true value of Newcastle United?
This new 2021/22 season was already looking like a potential car crash and with Mike Ashley still at the wheel, it is looking even more dire now.
Newcastle United Official Statement – 19 July 2021:
‘The parties attended a hearing today in the case between Newcastle United and the Premier League.
The main hearing of the arbitration has regrettably now been adjourned until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence.
The parties will be making no further comment at this time.’
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