Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley is all set to take on the Premier League, having hired the Blackstone Chambers law firm after that failed takeover. The Newcastle takeover dominated press headlines during the lockdown but the deal fell through after the Saudi-led consortium withdrew the offer. Mike Ashley believes that the Newcastle United Saudi deal was unfairly blocked and is aiming to prove that the Premier League's owners' and directors' test was not applied in a proper manner.
A potential Newcastle takeover was the talk of the town earlier this year, with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) having launched a £300 million bid for the club. The Newcastle United Saudi deal would have seen the PIF own an 80% stake of the club, while Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers would have split the remaining 20%. However, the consortium publicly withdrew its offer in July, leaving Mike Ashley furious with the Premier League executives. The Newcastle United owner accused Premier League chief executive Richard Masters of hindering the takeover.
Newcastle then released a statement claiming that the Magpies didn't feel Premier League chief executive Richard Masters acted appropriately in relation to the takeover and will now be considering all relevant options available to them. The Premier League slammed Mike Ashley for misleading Newcastle fans for lying about the failed deal. The Premier League expressed its shock and surprise at the statement released by Newcastle. The league stated that it was incorrect to assert that decisions regarding the Newcastle takeover were taken by an individual, suggesting that the decisions were unanimously agreed by all board members. Reports suggest that the trial over the failed Newcastle takeover is one of Mike Ashley's ideas to revive interest in a new deal.
The Newcastle takeover was paused after concerns over piracy and other humanitarian issues. Saudi Arabia was found guilty of streaming live Premier League games on an illegal broadcasting channel ironically named 'beoutQ'. Furthermore, Hatice Cengiz also asked the Premier League to block the prospective takeover. Cengiz is the wife of the late journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in late 2018. Khashoggi's death has been linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who oversees the PIF. Crown Prince Salman, however, has denied those claims and maintains his innocence. Nonetheless, Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley believes that the takeover was unfairly blocked, and a saga is likely to unfold at St James' Park.