Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie, who broke the news that Mike Ashley was still keeping a dialogue with the consortium, has revealed some other news regarding the current Newcastle owner. This comes in light of the letter Richard Masters sent to Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah.
Downie is reporting that a source close to Ashley is asking if the Premier League would act on the takeover should the information they have requested from the consortium be provided.
Here is Downie’s tweet.
A source close to Mike Ashley notes the published letter by Richard Masters to MP Chi Onwurah and asks: If the information requested by the Premier League to the consortium was now provided, would the Premier League be in a position to act on the takeover? https://t.co/gUPHuJ98M8
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) August 14, 2020
We would expect that the league would then have to act if the Saudis provided the information that is being requested. However, that doesn’t answer the question of why the Premier League is asking for this information.
It appears from Masters’s letter coupled with what Amanda Staveley has stated publicly that the Premier League is asking for information that would put the Saudi State as part of the consortium.
Why is the league so intent on doing that? While the PIF is inexorably linked to the Saudi regime, why can’t Yasir Al-Rumayyan be the link between the Saudis and Newcastle? It’s understood that the PIF Governer was in line to become Newcastle’s chairman.
There’s either something the Premier League didn’t like in what they received from the consortium, or they are playing games to get the KSA to be named as part of the consortium. That could give the league ammunition to deny them for their alleged facilitation of broadcast piracy within Saudi borders.
There are still many questions that remain unanswered. We’d expect the consortium to make some sort of statement after today’s developments. But this does nothing for the takeover being revived which is ultimately up to the Saudis. Whether they are still bothered with owning Newcastle after this fiasco has to be in doubt.
However, it does appear that Mike Ashley is an unwitting victim in all of this. He genuinely seems to want to sell Newcastle, and in this climate, may not find a better deal than the one Staveley has brokered.
What this is going to mean for Newcastle United this season is a big worry. Ashley, who already loathed investing in the club, is going to be even less motivated now that he’s essentially severed any emotional ties to the club.
Though he’ll have to fight his apathy to at least keep Newcastle as a saleable asset. If he doesn’t do enough to keep Newcastle in a position to fight for a mid-table finish, this could be one very long season.
Note – here’s a petition to sign to get an independent review of the EPL Takeover process – please sign it – thanks.