Newcastle United confirm EPL arbitration as takeover saga rages on

Oren Brown explores the possible legal battle surrounding reinvigoration of the Saudi takeover of Newcastle United

Oren Brown
29th November 2020

Several months after Saudi Arabian-backed investors failed to secure the takeover of Newcastle United, a new twist has emerged in the saga.

Newcastle broke their silence on reports of arbitration against the Premier League (‘EPL’) this Thursday. While the statement does not provide a comment “on the substance of the arbitration,” it does confirm its existence.

The club’s response follows claims of a breach of confidentiality on the EPL’s end. The statement explains that Newcastle had previously remained silent due to the “confidentiality clause in the Premier League's rules.” Information about the case was leaked in a letter to Newcastle supporters on Tuesday, wherein the EPL referred to the “club’s own legal case.”

The lack of a concrete response from the Premier League to this summer’s takeover is likely the primary concern of Newcastle’s legal action. With a willing buyer and a willing seller, a situation like this would usually be cut-and-dry.  Coronavirus complications and a lack of response from the Premier League are the primary reasons cited for its failure. The involvement of Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is also likely to be a contributing factor.

The statement from Newcastle United goes on to state that it is “unclear when proceedings will be resolved.” It also seems to condemn the approach of the EPL and its lawyers, which has proven stagnant in recent months. With the arbitration now confirmed, we may, in time, see a conclusive decision made by the EPL. While the takeover has no guarantee of re-materialising, news of legal action adds yet another twist to this turbulent tale.


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AUTHOR: Oren Brown
English student. @orenajb

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