Premier League clubs are seeking an “emergency meeting” to discuss the recent takeover of Newcastle United amid concerns about the rapid change in circumstances that allowed the deal to go ahead.
After 18 months of obstacles and litigation, it was finally confirmed Thursday night that the Magpies will be under new ownership, with a consortium led by businesswoman Amanda Staveley – and backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – buying the club in $ 300 million -Euro deal.
The new owners had originally pulled out of the possible takeover last year, fearing the deal would not be accepted by the Premier League, amid problems related to pirating games in Saudi Arabia as well as concerns that PIF might launch a Expansion of the Saudi state.
The now-retired owner Mike Ashley took legal action against the Premier League for blocking the deal.
However, the takeover was quickly confirmed earlier this week after piracy issues were resolved and the league received “legally binding assurances” that the Saudi state would not control the club
This announcement apparently has the rest of the top clubs concerned with the Guardian reports that the other 19 sides are calling for an “emergency meeting” to find out why the takeover was allowed to go ahead despite the ongoing legal battle and why they were given so little information about the deal.
The report suggests that the rest of the division are “united” in their opposition to the new ownership and wish to express their anger at the Premier League body without attempting to “derail the takeover”.
The Saudi Arabia-led consortium is believed to have tampered with “the brand” of the league, with human rights groups loudly protesting the deal, especially as the PIF is overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
However, as the report points out, there may be a sense of hypocrisy among some of the other owners in the league, while there is also a feeling that the rival clubs are simply afraid of a new financial power, in the form of an incredibly wealthy Newcastle.
A major point of contention for the rest of the division is said to be the lack of notification they received of the deal, as most clubs were only informed after the public announcement, while no mention of the potential takeover was made at the recent shareholders’ meeting, which just before took place two weeks.
In the meantime it is e-mail say Daniel Levy “tried to prevent the consortium from attracting a lucrative sponsor” despite being told it was a “pointless endeavor”, with the Spurs chairman being considered one of the most vocal opponents of the Saudi investment .
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