Newcastle United takeover petition tops St James's Park record crowd – as fans demand Premier League answers
Seventy two thousand fans and counting have put their name to the change.org petition set up last Thursday in response to PCP Capital Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Reuben Brothers stepping back from their £300 million buyout of the Magpies. The record crowd ever at SJP was back in 1930 when the return of legendary No.9 Hughie Gallagher, then of Chelsea, drew an attendance of 68,386.
The consortium cited indefinite delays and a lack of timescale given for the Premier League to complete their owners and directors test, which by fair estimates has been going on since April 9, as their reason for pulling out.
And while hopes have been rekindled in recent days with Mike Ashley, Amanda Staveley and the Reubens stating their commitment to the deal, United fans remain in the dark about what the future holds.
The petition aim is to “engage the United Kingdom government in establishing an independent investigation into the English Premier League (EPL) takeover process and Richard Masters who was fundamental in orchestrating the deal.”
On the petition landing page, it continues: “The takeover negotiations came to a halt on 30th July 2020 after the Saudi backed consortium withdrew their interest with one of the key reasons being the "Prolonged Process". This announcement was released after four months without a decision.
“Despite the takeover being a confidential process, much of it was played out in the public domain and by the end of the Newcastle United takeover saga, it was apparent that the dispute was only with the Saudi backing due to their apparent human rights and piracy abuses.
“However, many of the concerns were initially raised by outside influences who would directly benefit from this particular takeover attempt failing or who already have personal issues with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Those groups proceeded to mount a personal attack on Saudi backing by raising piracy and human rights concerns before using the partner of reporter Jamal Khashoggi who has no connection to English football in their efforts.
“Mohammed Bin Salman, who is the crown prince of Saudi Arabia is an ally of the UK government and royal family, has been integral in supporting the UK with the outbreak of Covid-19 along with reforming the KSA policies on human rights.
“As a result of the EPL's negligence and Qatar influences around the Newcastle takeover, the city of Newcastle has been deprived of some well-needed investment into the local football club as well as the city as a whole.”
In demand of answers, Gazette writers Miles Starforth and Liam Kennedy co-signed a letter with EIGHT takeover questions.
At time of print, the paper was not in receipt of a response.