Newcastle United: Arbitration hearing with Premier League over takeover adjourned to 2022

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
St James' Park
Newcastle United finished 12th in the 2020-21 Premier League

The arbitration hearing between Newcastle United and the Premier League over the club's takeover has been adjourned until early 2022.

The adjournment relates to "issues with the disclosure of evidence", which is understood to involve both parties.

The news will be of huge disappointment to Newcastle fans, who hoped a £300m Saudi Arabia-led takeover would lead to the end of owner Mike Ashley's reign.

Newcastle have been owned by Ashley since 2007.

The Magpies owner was unhappy with the Premier League's failure to reach a decision over the takeover, which collapsed last year.

The club's claim centres on the way the Premier League applied its owners' and directors' test when assessing a bid.

Earlier this month, Newcastle asked for the claim to be heard in public and said it had "nothing to hide" from arbitration.

A joint statement from Newcastle and the Premier League on Monday said: "The parties attended a hearing today in the case between Newcastle United and the Premier League.

"The main hearing of the arbitration has regrettably now been adjourned until early 2022 due to issues with the disclosure of evidence.

"The parties will be making no further comment at this time."

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust said it was "unacceptable" the club had been left in a "state of limbo for 15 months".

It added: "Another delay of at least six months reinforces the need for transparency across all aspects of this situation."

The Saudi Arabian-backed consortium - which included Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers - agreed a £300m deal to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley in April 2020.

However, it pulled out the following July with the deal still being scrutinised under the Premier League's owners' and directors' test, having grown frustrated with its failure to reach a decision.

The league's chief executive Richard Masters said the consortium disagreed with the Premier League's conclusion that one entity would have control of the club and it rejected an offer of arbitration to determine who would own the club.

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