Newcastle starts case against Premier League after ricocheting Saudi takeover

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Newcastle United announced on Thursday that it would initiate an arbitration case against the Premier League (EPL) after ricocheting the club’s takeover by a Saudi Arabian consortium. The decision was made in response to alleged leaks by the EPL.

“In light of the information released by the EPL, the club has no choice but to respond,” Newcastle said in a statement to the website. “The club does not comment further on the method of arbitration, but confirms that it has started an arbitration case against the EPL.”

Newcastle suggests the Premier League has leaked information about the failure of the takeover before it was announced that the deal would backfire. The Magpies rely on some reports from the EPL, which have been made public.

At the end of July, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) withdrew a takeover bid of GBP 300 million (approximately EUR 330 million) after a long wait for Premier League approval. Months earlier, the PIF had made an offer to the Premier League to acquire 80 percent of Newcastle’s stock from owner Mike Ashley.

Presumably, it was difficult for the Premier League to ascertain what ties the controversial Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has with the Saudi government as chairman of the PIF. Bin Salman is controversial, because he ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, according to the US intelligence agency CIA.

Khashoggi’s widow Hatice Cengiz called on the Premier League to stop the takeover in April. Amnesty International was also strongly against the takeover of Newcastle United due to the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia.

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