'Only one thing worse than Mike Ashley...' - Outspoken talkSPORT pundit delivers stinging verdict on Newcastle legal battle with Premier League
TalkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan has delivered a dour appraisal of what Newcastle United’s current legal battle with the Premier League means for the likelihood of a Saudi-fronted takeover at St. James’ Park being reignited.
It was confirmed earlier this month that the Magpies are taking action against the governing body following the collapse of a high-profile bid over the summer that prevented a £300 million buyout on Tyneside.
But Jordan has been quick to voice his doubts over how effective the process will be in terms of allowing a deal to be revisited, largely due to the Premier League’s stance on piracy and broadcasting disputes in the Middle East.
The pundit also argued that the club’s commitment to challenging top flight bosses is predominantly designed to protect Mike Ashley’s integrity, and to reiterate his genuine intention to sell the Magpies.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the former Crystal Palace chairman said: “I think it’s window dressing. I think there’s only one thing worse than Mike Ashley for Newcastle fans, and that’s probably hope, and the hope that this transaction will come back on.
"Whether they like it or they don’t like it, at the centre of some of the issues that the Premier League have en masse – because the Premier League is not Richard Masters, the Premier League is 20 clubs that Richards Masters works for, and I don’t believe that Richard Masters has the hutzpah or the balls to step out of that remit and flow forward with a personal agenda – the notion that really drives this is piracy.
"I know that people will turn round and say there’s no issue around this, they’ve given the assertions and the statements, and the understanding and so on and so forth, but at the centre of this is an issue around broadcaster piracy, and that is what I believe has driven this all along.
"This is basically Newcastle kicking the tyres of the process, and Mike Ashley to make sure that his integrity, and the integrity of his intent to sell, is beyond question. They had a real agenda to sell, this wasn’t a fictitious transaction.
“Mike Ashley was determined to make this happen, and to do so, to be able to go back to the scenario, I again beg the question, if the buyer and seller are absolutely aligned, why aren’t they being more rambunctious and more on the front foot about dragging the Premier League?
"It may well be that this is the first part of it, but I don’t think this is an exercise that is going to end in any great fruit for them. I think it’s window dressing, and I think the same thing will come out, that the Premier League haven’t operated inappropriately.
"I know Newcastle fans will be up in arms and get most offended by this, but the motivations for this bid aren’t steeped in some agenda that Richard Masters has, it will be steeped in the protocols that the Premier League have to bring to bear to have questions answered.”