Christopher Flanagan, the Managing Editor of The International Sports Law Journal, has suggested that he expects the Premier League will reject claims they have broken aspects of UK sports competition law over Newcastle‘s failed takeover.
The Premier League were served with a legal letter by the Newcastle Supporters Consortium earlier in the week, challenging the halting of the proposed £300m deal agreed by Mike Ashley to sell the club over the summer, per Shields Gazette.
Newcastle fans’ displeasure is not just ‘grandstanding’
The legal letter issued to the Premier League does not just appear to be simply borne out of frustration, with Shields Gazette reporter Liam Kennedy having assured fans that the challenge was not just ‘grandstanding’. Key figures involved in the proposed takeover also took to Twitter to respond to the developments in what seemed like encouraging news.
The Shields Gazette‘s report over the issuing of the legal letter revealed that the Premier League would now have an onus to respond to the claims outlined. It is now expected that they could respond by saying that they reject those claims, per BBC Radio Newcastle, via Chronicle Live.
Speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle, via Chronicle Live, Flanagan suggested that the Premier League’s actions over the lack of transparency regarding the halting of the takeover is not a legal issue. However, he did say it was an issue of governance and fan engagement, while he also expects them to reject any claims of illegal wrongdoing.
He said: “There is an obligation to reply. What we ordinarily expect is a letter in response from the Premier League. I would expect setting out why they reject the claim.
“I have absolute sympathy with the fans. I’m a football fan myself and if this was my club I think I would also be frustrated because they have been left in the dark.
“However I would say whilst it is frustrating the fact is the decision itself and what’s going on is not in the public domain is not necessarily a legal problem although it’s reasonable to say it’s an issue of good governance and the Premier League might want to look at fan engagement and the way that takeovers of this nature are dealt with because fans are entitled to feel upset at the lack of public scrutiny of what has gone on.
“The Premier League are in a bit of a bind because they will have certain duties of confidentiality, for example to the PIF.”
Newcastle supporters deserve much greater transparency over takeover
Amid all the various twists and turns over the whole takeover saga, there is one group who are suffering more than any other – the Newcastle supporters – yet they are the ones being kept in the dark to the extent where a group have decided to seek legal action to force the Premier League’s hand.
Many Newcastle fans are desperate for the club to be taken over by people who can run them with more ambition and help them to compete more in the Premier League. It does not appear from this latest update that the Premier League have legally done anything wrong over this saga. However, they have certainly let fans down throughout the course of the summer and beyond.
In other news, find out about the latest update on this crucial Magpies player amid injury layoff here
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