Government fire back over Boris Johnson Newcastle United takeover interference claims
Boris Johnson did NOT intervene in the Premier League’s decision-making process in relation to the proposed Saudi takeover of Newcastle United, a No10 spokesman has confirmed.
The Daily Mail this morning ran a front page exclusive claiming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman urged the Prime Minister to lean on the Premier League to change their decision.
The message, as printed, said to be sent between MBS and Johnson on June 27 last year, read: 'We expect the English Premier League to reconsider and correct its wrong conclusion.”
The report then claims Johnson asked senior aide, Lord Eddie Lister, to investigate the matter further.
The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, who were to buy an 80% stake in United, then pulled out of the process along with fellow consortium members Reuben Brothers and PCP Capital Partners, who brokered the deal.
The deal, as has been well documented, was, at the time of said communications, stuck at the top flight’s owners’ and directors’ test, with the buyer and regulatory body at loggerheads over the how to progress the takeover attempt.
And hitting back against the claims, the Prime Minister’s spokesman today said: “This was a commercial matter for the parties concerned and the government was not involved at any point in the takeover talks.
“The PM didn’t intervene. The government was not involved at any point of these takeover talks.
“The PM asked Lord Lister to check on the progress of the talks as a potential major foreign investment in the UK – he didn’t ask him to intervene.”