English Premier League executive Richard Masters has officially revealed why the proposed Newcastle United takeover by a Saudi-funded consortium flopped.
Commenting on the impasse for the first time, Masters wrote to the Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah saying that parties involved failed to reach an agreement over independent arbitration.
He wrote: “I fully appreciate that the issue of a potential change in the ownership of Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC) is of great importance to you, as the MP for the area and as a fan, as it is to NUFC’s entire fanbase, and I would like to deal directly with the questions you raise.”
Masters confirmed that after an impasse was reached in the league’s owners’ and directors’ test, Amanda Staveley’s consortium, under which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is seeking to buy an 80% stake in the club, declined an offer of independent arbitration.
He wrote: “In June, the Premier League board made a clear determination as to which entities it believed would have control over the club following the proposed acquisition, in accordance with the Premier League rules.
“Subsequently, the Premier League then asked each such person or entity to provide the Premier League with additional information, which would then have been used to consider the assessment of any possible disqualifying events."
It is the first time the governing body has commented publicly on the matter, which has engulfed the city since news of PCP Capital Partners’ largely Saudi-funded £340million (€377 million) bid was made public in April.