'Absolute slap in the face' - How the nationals reacted to fresh Newcastle United takeover twist

Newcastle United are back in the national spotlight following the latest takeover twist involving PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Reuben brothers.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 11:52 am

The arbitration case between the Magpies and the Premier League will now be heard in ‘early 2022’ – inflicting yet further delays with the saga set to enter a second year.

A joint statement from Newcastle United and the Premier League read: "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.

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Amanda Staveley.

"The parties will be making no further comment at this time."

Here’s how some of the national newspapers reacted to the adjournment:

Henry Winter, The Times– "It’s an absolute slap in the face”

"It’s an absolute slap in the face from the Premier League.

"Whether it is the Premier League or the club, I do think there needs to be clarity who is behind the failure to disclose evidence.

"I do think this has scarred Newcastle United's season before it's even started.

“It's bad for Newcastle United but I think it's also bad for the Premier League as 20 clubs.

“As an organisation, they've called it badly. They should have sorted things before the first ball of the season was kicked against West Ham.”

Luke Edwards, the Daily Telegraph – ‘Huge impact on Steve Bruce’

"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.

“The adjournment will also have a huge impact on manager Steve Bruce, whose transfer plans have effectively been put on hold and his budget unknown as Ashley refused to sanction any major signings while arbitration was taking place.

"Now that it has been delayed, until January at the earliest, Bruce will demand he is backed in the transfer market.

“It is also thought parties who have previously expressed an interest in buying the club, but who had been deterred by PIF’s very public bid, are likely to test Ashley’s resolve to sell to them given the myriad of problems he has faced in getting the deal through the Premier League’s Owners and Directors Test.”

"None of this is ideal. It is certainly not desirable, nor is it likely to inspire supporters back to St James’ Park.

"But the dream of a better tomorrow has been extinguished for another six months at least and Ashley cannot allow this ghost-ship club to drift rudderless any longer.

"If he wants his £305 million for Newcastle, then he needs them to remain a Premier League club.

"Their club’s purgatory has been prolonged once again. The same existential questions remain, only now they have been adjourned to 2022.

“It is unpalatable, but at least it is certain. No more mirage, no more fantasy, only the demoralising confirmation of another season of struggle, another squandered campaign, another year of Ashley.”

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