UK government clarify stance on Newcastle United Saudi takeover bid as Premier League make dual test response

The UK government has reiterated their stance on the proposed takeover of Newcastle United by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 5:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 5:39 pm

PIF, along with potential minority shareholders PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, remain subject to the Premier League owners and directors test, with the situation at a legal standoff over certain answers given to the top flight by the buying party.

And while suggestions have been made the UK government will lean on PL chiefs to pass the deal parliamentary under-secretary of state for sport, heritage and tourism Nigel Huddleston claims that will not be the case.

"I'm very uncomfortable with the level of expectation of involvement on the government with things that are very clearly decisions for football,” said the member of the department for digital, culture, media and sport.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"There is obviously the fit and proper persons test to go through with any acquisitions of this nature and I think that is absolutely appropriate.

"It's something that I'm keeping an eye on but it is a decision for those involved. It would be inappropriate for me to interfere at that kind of level."

Meanwhile, the Gazette asked the Premier League for a response on whether they can run two owners and directors tests for the same club, one parallel to another, after suggestions Henry Mauriss and the Clear TV group are ready to go to war with the Saudis to buy out frustrated Mike Ashley.

But again, the league batted away questioning. They said: “The Premier League will not be commenting on anything around this subject.”

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives for talks at 10 Downing Street, in central London on March 7, 2018. British Prime Minister Theresa May will "raise deep concerns at the humanitarian situation" in war-torn Yemen with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to Britain beginning Wednesday, according to her spokesman. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN (Photo credit should read TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to the Shields Gazette website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit here to sign up. You can subscribe to the newspaper with 20% off here. Thank you.