Newcastle United have accused the Premier League of acting inappropriately regarding the failed Saudi-led takeover of the club.
On July 30th, a £300million (€330m) bid to purchase Newcastle from Mike Ashley was withdrawn, seventeen weeks after it had been accepted.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PiF), Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Partners had combined for a takeover.
Staveley blamed the Premier League for the bid's collapse, telling The Times, "They had a chance, they say we have not answered all the questions and we have done so."
In a statement released on Wednesday night, Newcastle said they provided the Premier League "with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government."
It follows comments made by Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to Sky Sports regarding the failed takeover.
"In a situation such as a takeover there should be an expectation of confidentiality," Masters said.
"By the same token there is an expectation of fans that they should be kept up to speed with what is going on.
"That isn't always possible.
"So I sympathise with Newcastle fans which is why we took the decision to very briefly talk to the Newcastle United Supporters Trust and answer their questions and write an open letter to local MPs to explain as far as we could to explain some of the issues."
Indeed, last month Masters wrote to Newcastle upon Tyne Central MP, Chi Onwurah, denying a claim of Staveley's that some Premier League clubs had attempted to block the Saudi takeover.
Regarding the lengthy 'fit and proper persons' timeframe, Masters told Sky Sports, "There's a common perception that these things take a month.
"It's not the case they do take longer.
"When you have complexities it takes more time.
"We are already taking a look at the owners and directors test and the issue of transparency and fan communication as well."
Newcastle say they don't believe Masters or the Premier League have acted appropriately, and are considering all relevant options.
They add, "Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club."
Ashley has backed manager Steve Bruce in the transfer market in pre-season, bringing in Jeff Hendrick (free), Callum Wilson (£20m from Bournemouth), Ryan Fraser (free) and Jamal Lewis (£15m from Norwich City).
Richard Masters “sympathises” with #NUFC fans. 🙄 #NUFCTakeover https://t.co/2qmfgOqcLt
— Newcastle Fans TV (@NewcastleFansTV) September 9, 2020
Newcastle United can confirm that the Premier League has rejected a takeover bid made by PCP Capital Partners, the Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) based on its Owners and Directors test.
This conclusion has been reached despite the club providing the Premier League with overwhelming evidence and legal opinions that PIF is independent and autonomous of the Saudi Arabian government.
The club and its owners do not accept that Premier League chief executive Richard Masters and the Premier League have acted appropriately in relation to this matter and will be considering all relevant options available to them.
Mike Ashley understands fans’ frustrations and would like to reassure them that he has been fully committed to ensuring this takeover process reached completion as he felt it was in the best interests of the club. Mike continues to be fully supportive to Steve Bruce, the players and all the staff and wishes them well for the upcoming season.