Former Newcastle United and England player Rob Lee has been talking about the unsuccessful Toon takeover bid from the consortium made up of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers.
This takeover was reported to be nearing completion in April but it never ended up happening, with Newcastle releasing a statement in September claiming that the Premier League had rejected the deal. The club has since confirmed that they are pursuing arbitration against the Premier League over its conduct relating to the unsuccessful takeover.
Now, speaking exclusively to This Is Futbol, Lee has called for Premier League chief Richard Masters to publicly offer an explanation to Toon supporters as to why the takeover didn’t end up going through, saying:
“I think the Newcastle fans have the right to [have] somebody come out and say what went wrong – as to why these people were not allowed to buy the club, somebody [to] come out and say, ‘this is the reason. This is the reason it went on for eight months instead of two months. These are the reasons why.’
“If they are the reasons, then just give them. I don’t see the issue. There’s all rumours why they couldn’t – TV rights and all sorts of rumours – but Richard Masters or somebody, come out and say ‘this is the reason.’
“They had the money, Mike [Ashley] wanted to sell, they wanted to buy. In anybody else’s industry, the company gets sold. The ironic thing is, as far as I’m aware, [if] the club went down, anybody could buy them. As we’ve seen at Charlton, people can buy clubs and there seems to be no due diligence about who buys them.
“So, the Premier League seem to have taken Newcastle’s takeover further than anybody else’s and for what reason? Tell us the reason why, and I think Newcastle fans are fair enough – if they think there’s a legitimate reason why somebody can’t own a club and they shouldn’t be in charge of Newcastle, then tell them.”
Do you think enough clarity has been offered as to why the takeover wasn't approved?
Per The Independent, Masters has previously addressed the reason behind the Premier League not approving this Toon takeover attempt when confronted about it by Newcastle upon Tyne Central MP Chi Onwurah back in August, before the Toon claimed that the Premier League rejected the deal.
As well as that, Amanda Staveley of the PCP Capital Partners firm claimed that the reason the takeover didn’t go through was that the Premier League “wanted the country, Saudi, to become a director of the football club.”
So, with all of that information, perhaps it would be fair to say that whether you agree with them or not, explanations have been offered as to why the deal wasn’t approved, and so perhaps it’s unlikely that Lee or any Toon fans will get a clearer explanation than that any time soon, especially with the North East club taking legal action against the top flight.