Newcastle take Premier League to competition tribunal over takeover collapse

Newcastle United v Rochdale – FA Cup – Third Round – Replay – St James’ Park
(Image credit: Owen Humphreys)

Newcastle have taken the Premier League to the Competition Appeal Tribunal over the collapse of the takeover of the club last year.

The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) says it received a claim for damages and/or an injunction from Newcastle owner Mike Ashley’s St James Holdings company on April 22, under section 47A of the Competition Act 1998.

The Saudi Arabian-backed consortium ended its bid to buy Newcastle in July last year.

The group, which included Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, PCP Capital Partners and Reuben Brothers, had agreed a £300million deal to buy the club in April.

But the deal was still being scrutinised under the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test 17 weeks later when the consortium withdrew its interest.

The claim says the Premier League “prevented, or hindered, the proposed takeover and knew that its actions would prevent and/or delay the proposed takeover”.

Ashley bought the Magpies for £134.4million in 2007, but has been trying to sell it for much of the time since.

As far as he was concerned last year, a deal which he believed could give the club the spending power he has been unable to provide had been done.

The Premier League declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the PA news agency.

The CAT is a specialist judicial body which hears and decides cases involving competition or economic regulatory issues.

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