Newcastle confirm legal proceedings against Premier League over failed £300m Saudi takeover and leaked documents

NEWCASTLE owner Mike Ashley has confirmed he is suing the Premier League over the failed Saudi takeover

In a fiery statement, the club also accused the Prem of 'leaking' information concerning their ongoing legal challenge.

Ashley was left distraught when Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Amanda Staveley and the Reuben brothers withdrew their £300million bid in July.

They blamed the Premier League and its chief Richard Masters for leaving them no other option, leading Ashley to take up the fight in the courts.

Separate action is being taken by two fans on the grounds that not accepting the proposed takeover was a breach of anti-competition law.

And in their response to that challenge the Premier League’s lawyers referenced Ashley’s own case, leading to the statement.

It read: “The Club has previously not commented on the arbitration it is pursuing against the Premier League (‘EPL’) with respect to its conduct relating to the proposed takeover because of the confidentiality clause in the EPL's rules.

"However, the Club is aware of public reports which state that, on 17 November, the EPL referred to legal proceedings with the Club (e.g. social media posts referring to the “Club’s own legal case”) in a letter to Newcastle supporters.

"The source of some of the reporting is said to be the EPL. It appears, therefore, that the EPL has leaked the contents of their letter to some of those commenting in the public domain.

"The Club understands that these will be matters of great concern to its fans and therefore considers that, in light of the information disclosed by the EPL, it has no choice but to respond and update its fans in response to this coverage.

"The Club makes no comment on the substance of the arbitration, but it can confirm that it has issued arbitration proceedings against the EPL.

"It is unclear when those proceedings will be resolved, given the approach of the EPL and its lawyers, Bird & Bird. Nevertheless, the Club will continue to use its best efforts to press for a fair, full and timely hearing of its claim.”

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