Frank McAvennie has given his candid thoughts on the latest developments in the saga of the potential takeover of Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: HMRC discontinue investigation
The Magpies confirmed last week that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) were discontinuing their investigation into the taxes of the club, which in turn prompted owner Mike Ashley to refer to ‘dark forces’ which were preventing the Tyneside outfit from becoming the ‘powerhouse that the fans deserve’.
Is the KSA takeover of Newcastle over?
The chief executive of Sports Direct also launched an anti-competition lawsuit against the Premier League with regards to their decision-making process with the failed deal between him and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) group.
The Latest: McAvennie reacts
McAvennie, who is now a pundit after having a stellar footballing career playing for the likes of Celtic and West Ham, has given his thoughts to Football Insider about the investigation and the lawsuit. He claimed that the discontinuation of the former is a big boost for the potential takeover, as well as voicing his confusion over why it has not been approved already, saying:
“Mike has been wanting to sell Newcastle for years.
“Loads of people have come forward and he’s never sold it. If he’s wanting to sell it, why is he still there?
“The powers-that-be said ‘no’. I know he’s taking the Premier League to court because they stopped someone buying it.
“That’s the biggest load of nonsense, look at the boys at Man City. They’re Saudi so I’m not sure why this wasn’t all sorted ages ago.
“Maybe the HMRC stuff has changed something, I don’t know too much about it. But not having that going on has to be a huge boost for the takeover.”
The Verdict: Takeover depends on legal battle
Not only has Ashley launched a legal case against the Premier League accusing them of anti-competitive behaviour, but there is also the pending arbitration hearing he has launched against them over the KSA consortium’s failed bid.
The chances of the takeover happening at St James’ Park could depend greatly on the results of these two cases, and positive outcomes for Ashley may well pave a significant pathway for it to come back onto the table.
Whatever happens, it is clear that Ashley is trying to get as much compensation out of the failed deal as possible, with the results of his legal battle with the Premier League remaining unclear.
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