On Monday, Newcastle United announced that the main hearing of the arbitration case against the Premier League had been adjourned. Issues with the disclosure of evidence were cited as the reason.
The case was expected to start imminently but now has basically been indefinitely postponed. An estimate of ‘early 2022’ for the case’s resumption was provided as the potential timeframe.
Immediately after the announcement, Mehrdad Ghodoussi suggested this was more shenanigans from the Premier League.
— Mehrdad Ghodoussi (@ghodoussi) July 19, 2021
However, there have been reports from some journalists, like The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, that both sides failed to provide all the relevant evidence. Edwards has been consistently skeptical about this takeover since before the Saudi’s pulled out last summer.
Must stress this is about disclosure on both sides, not one. Neither side has given all the relevant information so both sides can be blamed.. if you feel you must blame someone #NUFCTakeover #NUFC https://t.co/b17AhFh441
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) July 19, 2021
It was another dark July day for the hopeful yesterday. Not as devastating as last year, but a deep disappointment for many.
There are a few potential silver linings. The Premier League is obviously playing the long game here. They are desperate to drag this along in the shadows for as long as it takes.
The goal seems to be to make the process the punishment and to exhaust Mike Ashley and the consortium into capitulation without having to reveal any of their potential misdeeds.
This suggests a lack of confidence in their evidence so if these proceedings ever get underway, it could be a positive outcome for Newcastle.
The second ‘potential’ positive is that Ashley could now be forced to invest in this squad. If he’s going to continue with the arbitration, he doesn’t want to risk being bottom of the table next Spring when the arbitration case gets underway.
So we’ll see if Ashley kicks a few more quid Steve Bruce’s way to keep Newcastle competitive while the arbitration case remains unsolved.
However, there is a chance that Ashley and the buyers just walk away. The Premier League has proven to be as unaccountable as a clandestine force pulling invisible strings. There seems to be no appetite by any institution to make them play by their own rules.
If Ashley truly wants to sell Newcastle, and not just make a massive profit, he could find a buyer quite easily by dropping his inflated asking price.
My focus remains firmly on backing Bruce and the boys. We have a great group of lads that requires a few quality additions ahead of what is likely to be another exacting season on Tyneside.