The major hurdle the Bin Zayed Group still have to navigate in £350m Newcastle United takeover
Led by Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nehayan, the group remain bullishly confident of completing a takeover at St James's Park - ending Mike Ashley's long reign on Tyneside.
Reports emerged last week of a £350million deal being struck and, while there has been no official comment from the club, the Bin Zayed Group are hopeful a deal can be completed.
But once a deal is struck, the club's new owners will still have to navigate one major hurdle - the Premier League's owners and directors test, otherwise known as the fit and proper persons test.
We take a look at what the test involves and how long the process could take:
WHAT IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST?
The test is an assessment of the individual, or group, looking to take on the running of the football club.
It is designed to assess whether the potential owners can run the club in a suitable manner and that they have the required funds in order to do so.
Anyone who is a registered director of the club is subject to the test, with clubs having to provide an up-to-date list at the end of each season to ensure criteria is continually being met.
WHAT INFORMATION IS SUBMITTED AS PART OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST?
Potential owners have to submit a variety of information to the Premier League, with the league able to request any details they feel are necessary to ascertain whether they are able to take control of a club.
As well as the agreement to purchase the club, potential owners will have to submit financial records and prove they do not have any criminal convictions.
They may be also asked about their involvement in any other football club, should that become apparent.
HOW LONG DOES THE PREMIER LEAGUE OWNERS AND DIRECTORS TEST TAKE TO COMPLETE?
When a club intends to appoint a new director, or complete a takeover, they must inform the Premier League at least ten working days before the director is anticipated to be appointed.
Within five working days, the Premier League will respond stating whether or not they feel there are grounds on which to disqualify the potential director.
Should the league issue a disqualification that a potential takeover may ground to a halt, but if there are no grounds on which to disqualify then the appointment of a new director may proceed.
WHAT COULD LEAD TO A TAKEOVER BEING BLOCKED?
The Premier League will disqualify potential directors - and in effect block a takeover - if any of these below applies to the individual:
- They failed to provide all relevant information (including, without limitation, information relating to any other individual who would qualify as a Director but has not been disclosed
- They provided false, misleading or inaccurate information
- They either directly or indirectly he is involved in or has any power to determine or influence the management or administration of another Club or Football League club
- They either directly or indirectly he holds or acquires any Significant Interest in a Club while he either directly or indirectly holds any interest in any class of Shares of another Club
- They become prohibited by law from being a director
- They have a Conviction (which is not a Spent Conviction) imposed by a court of the United Kingdom or a competent court of foreign jurisdiction
- They become the subject of an Interim Bankruptcy Restriction Order, a Bankruptcy Restriction Order or a Bankruptcy Order
- They have or have been a Director of a Club which, while he has been a Director of it, has suffered two or more unconnected Events of Insolvency in respect of each of which a deduction of points was imposed
- They are an Intermediary and/or is registered as an intermediary or agent pursuant to the regulations of any national member association of FIFA.
A full list of disqualification criteria is laid out in the Premier League handbook, and there is an appeals process available against disqualification.