Premier League officially reject Newcastle United's Saudi-backed takeover
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 30: The statue of Sir Bobby Robson outside the stadium before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James Park on November 30, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Newcastle United have confirmed to their supporters this evening that the proposed takeover of the club, by a consortium consisting of financier Amanda Staveley, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has been officially rejected by the Premier League due to its 'Owners & Directors' test'.

The consortium linked to buying the club withdrew from the buying process in July due to a lack of a decision from the Premier League, despite the deal being on the league's chief executive Richard Masters' table for 17 weeks.

At the time of withdrawal from the consortium, current Newcastle owner Mike Ashley apparently asked the buying party to provide the Premier League with the necessary information required for them to make a decision either way.

It is thought that the proposed buyers did in fact provide the further information in the recent weeks, and were increasingly confident that the takeover would in fact be passed.

In a very strong public statement, Newcastle United said they provided the league with 'overwhelming evidence' that the Saudi Arabian government was a separate legal entity from the Public Investment Fund - which was the apparent reason for the Premier League not approving the deal.

Also written in the statement, Mike Ashley has reiterated that he was 'fully committed' to the takeover and will consider all relevant options available to reach a positive conclusion.

Ashley stated too that he would continue to back head coach Steve Bruce in the transfer market, after the club completed deals for Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis this week.

  • The statement

Newcastle United said in their statement: "Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.

“This conclusion has been reached despite the club providing the Premier League with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government.

“The club and its owners do not accept that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and the Premier League have acted appropriately in relation to this matter and will be considering all relevant options available to them.

“Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club.

”Mike continues to be fully supportive to Steve Bruce, the players and all the staff and wishes them well for the upcoming season."