Newcastle United hit out at Premier League chief executive Richard Masters over takeover decision
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A Saudi Arabia-backed consortium led by financier Amanda Staveley withdrew its bid for the club in July over the Premier League’s failure to make a timely decision on its approval amid objections from beIN Sports and Amnesty International.
However, Staveley – and backers David and Simon Reuben – remained committed to the bid, and there were hopes on Tyneside that it could be resurrected amid background discussions.
Mike Ashley, United’s owner, today arrived on Tyneside as the club unveiled its three latest summer signings, and United have issued a strongly-worded statement criticising the Premier League and it’s chief executive Richard Masters for rejecting the bid.
Ashley is now considering legal action over the Premier League’s decision, which was made over the Saudi Arabian state’s influence over the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which was to fund 80% of the takeover.
The statement read: “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 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.”
PIF issued a statement on July 30, which read: “We have come to the decision to withdraw our interest in acquiring Newcastle United.
"We do so with regret, as we believe we could have returned the club to the position of its history, tradition and fans’ merit.”