NCSL director Keith Patterson urges fan caution on Newcastle United takeover legal case deadline – but reveals what Premier League WILL definitely do
The English Premier League have until 5pm this afternoon to respond to the Competition Appeal Tribunal case lodged by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.
But Newcastle Consortium Supporters Ltd director Keith Patterson has urged fans to not hold their breath for answers imminently.
St James Holdings Ltd, Ashley’s company, are looking to take the top flight to court for what they believe to be anti-competitive behaviour in their Saudi takeover decision-making process.
The claim alleges the Premier League were in infringement of articles 101 and 102 of the Competition Act 1998.
This is a seperate challenge to the one which sees Nick De Marco and Shaheed Fatima's battle with Premier League representatives Bird and Bird played out in a private arbitration, set to challenge the application of the owners' and directors' test with regards the separation of the Saudi state and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the influence one has on the other.
Ashley has progressed with the original anti-competition claim put forward by NCSL, first launched late last year – and Patterson has urged caution ahead of this afternoon’s incoming deadline, however he does believe the Premier League will respond, if they haven’t already.
"We are eager for a result but today’s deadline is to stop the EPL delaying and procrastinating,” said the NCSL director.
"We won’t necessarily see any definite movement today but we do know things are moving in the right direction behind the scenes.
“I don’t excited by dates, I think too much is made of this date and that date, particularly on social media. The most important date is the day they (the Premier League) fold and stop fighting. I think that day will come.”
On April 21, St James Holdings Ltd launched their anti-competition case against the Premier League.
On May 18 it was revealed the Premier League had applied for an extension to answer the claim. They requested 28 days to June 15, but were given 24.
So, what next? That is up in the air, depending on what response has been given.
Patterson says if one thing is certain, it’s that the Premier League will respond.
"It is unthinkable the Premier League don’t answer this,” he said.
"If the case runs, as it is expected to, it will likely be dates in the diary for the legal teams.
"I’d be surprised if the Premier League didn’t try and get this thrown out and/or seek further delay.”
The next step in the process, if the case runs, is likely to be a case management hearing, which will likely be announced by CAT themselves.
Interestingly, this conference is a public matter and could, we’re told, be streamed live, details of which will be announced on https://www.catribunal.org.uk/ – allowing NUFC fans to see the club’s anti-competition initial skirmishes played out in the public domain.
Due to potential legal complexities of the response as well as the process, it is impossible to put a timeframe on when this announcement, or the case management hearing will he heard.