Mike Ashley will take legal action against the Premier League over Newcastle’s failed £300m Saudi takeover as he hires two top QCs to fight against their Owners and Directors Test which scuppered the move

  • Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has tried to sell the club in a £300m deal
  • But the Premier League rejected the proposed Saudi-led takeover of the team
  • The League say they are waiting for ‘all appropriate information’ from the buyers

Mike Ashley and Newcastle United have instructed two leading QCs in their dispute with the Premier League over its rejection of the club’s Saudi-led takeover.

Sources close to Ashley say the owner has been told he has a strong case against the League and believes they did not apply the rules of their Owners and Directors Test correctly.

They say Ashley wants to prove the League were in the wrong in the hope of bringing the Saudis back to the table. They also say he is not motivated by compensation.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has appointed two lawyers in his row with the Premier League

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has appointed two lawyers in his row with the Premier League

Ashley released a statement last week in which he accused the League’s chief executive Richard Masters of not acting ‘appropriately’ during the process of the Owners and Directors Test and said he was considering legal action after the £300million deal was formally rejected.

The League responded to say that Ashley’s claims about the takeover being blocked were ‘incorrect’ and said they were still waiting for ‘all appropriate information’ from the proposed buyers, including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers.

Other sources close to the process do not understand how legal action can be brought when the takeover was not formally rejected and the buyers publicly announced their withdrawal.

They also say the League’s test allows them absolute discretion to approve a takeover or otherwise via the clause ‘reasonable objective opinion’ of the League.

Ashley (bottom left) was in attendance as Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0 at the weekend

Ashley (bottom left) was in attendance as Newcastle beat West Ham 2-0 at the weekend

But a statement from London-based Blackstone Chambers on Monday confirmed that Ashley is set to pursue legal action.

It read: ’Shaheed Fatima QC and Nick De Marco QC are acting for Newcastle United FC and Mike Ashley (instructed by Dentons) in a dispute with the Premier League about its rejection of 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.’

De Marco is a leader in sports law and his previous clients include Tyson Fury, Harry Kane, Jay Rodriguez, Wayne Hennessey and Peter Beardsley.

source: dailymail.co.uk

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