Some details have emerged of the Premier League’s involvement in the potential takeover of Newcastle United, with the top flight failing to keep their promise to reform the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (ODT).
The Lowdown: Arbitration soon
The arbitration case between the St. James’ Park faithful and the English top flight over the failing of the deal between Mike Ashley and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) group is not far away.
Are the Premier League to blame for the Newcastle takeover collapse?
Ashley has also launched a separate anti-competition claim against the division over their decision-making process in failing the bid, but that is thought to be in his back pocket in case the arbitration hearing does not go in his favour.
The Latest: Hurst slams Premier League and ODT
Details have emerged over a discussion between the Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) and the panel of the fan-led review into football governance over the involvement of the Premier League in the whole takeover saga.
Speaking to The Chronicle, NUST board member Alex Hurst explained that among other things, the top flight’s involvement in the takeover was discussed, in particular the handling of their Owners’ and Directors’ Test (ODT):
“We touched on the owners and directors test issues. There’s no transparency there from the Premier League either.
“They promised transparency and to reform the ODT after the shambles of last summer but they haven’t. How can we trust the Premier League to regulate Newcastle United when it can’t regulate itself?
“We are in favour of the independent regulator. Very much so.”
The Verdict: ODT may need a revamp
The ODT may certainly need a revamp, given that the Premier League dwelled on the Magpies takeover for far too long, perhaps proving that the entire system is not efficient or transparent enough.
However, one thing that the ODT is clear on with regards to the potential takeover in the North East is that the KSA’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) must be considered a separate entity to the Saudi state.
If that separation can be proved, it would certainly be a big plus in terms of trying to push the deal through.
Nonetheless, the arbitration proceedings should give a much clearer picture over the direction of where the bid is heading, but the ODT will still unfortunately play its part.
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