Newcastle United saw the Premier League’s Chief Executive Richard Masters in attendance at St James’ Park.
A familiar foe was at the home of the Magpies as he watched Eddie Howe’s side take on Fulham in a potential European place tussle.
Masters was named as the highest level of authority in the Premier League in November 2019 following Richard Scudamore’s resignation 11 months earlier, with key responsibilities including leading negotiations over TV rights and more prominent in Newcastle’s case – resolving club disputes and ownership issues.
Only months into his new role he was forced to act and deal with the situation regarding the Tyneside club’s ownership with Mike Ashley’s planned sale to Saudi Arabian’s Public Investment Fund.
The takeover saga was far from straightforward and left Masters as an unpopular figure in the dispute, which is why Newcastle reporter Miles Starforth brought attention to his appearance on Twitter, he tweeted:
“Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is at SJP today. #nufc”
TIF Thoughts on Starforth’s tweet…
Masters was also pictured sitting with Newcastle’s co-owners Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi (via Dominic Scurr).
It’s significant as Masters and the Premier League blocked an original takeover by PIF in 2020, which led to the Magpies releasing a club statement that they believe that the rejection of the takeover wasn’t appropriate.
Just over a year later Newcastle launched an appeal with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) which found that the Premier League had “abused its position” to reject the deal citing that influence from Qatar-based Premier League broadcaster BeIN Sport and other top-flight clubs lobbied against the takeover (Sky Sports).
The takeover eventually went through and within a year the Magpies have gone from relegation battlers to currently sitting fourth in the top-flight with success surely on the near horizon.