The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has explained why there’s now “nothing to suggest” that the proposed Saudi-backed takeover won’t pass Premier League testing – stating they are a set of checks to pass or fail, not a ‘morale exam’.
He also feels sure that the Premier League will NOT reject them based on BeIN Sports’ piracy claims, stating it would be ‘unprecedented‘ if they did – and something more likely to be discussed after the deal is done, not an issue that would see the takeover collapse.
Here’s a snippet from Douglas’ latest update on his Facebook page, with him explaining why there should be no panic from Toon supporters as we await the results of the Premier League’s ‘fit and proper person’s’ test:
“The anxiety of some Newcastle United fans around the final stages of the takeover is understandable given the last 13 years but despite everything I’ve seen and heard this week (the ‘second bid’, the letters, the piracy concerns, Richard Keys’ breathtaking interventions, the formal objections) there’s nothing to suggest the buy out proposed by Amanda Staveley’s PCP Capital Partners with heavyweight Saudi backing isn’t going to be approved & completed within days/weeks.
“The owners & directors tests aren’t a moral exam, they’re a set of checks to pass.
“It’s a great chance for the PL to tackle Saudi piracy but they that’d be a discussion rather than an end point.
“They can’t (and won’t) disqualify this proposition. It would be unprecedented and game changing if they did but indications aren’t that they will.”
Reassuring comments from Mark and a message that may relax a few nervous Newcastle United fans frantically refreshing their Twitter feeds!
The would-be buyers are currently being scrutinised by the Premier League’s “fit and proper person” test – the final step in the takeover process which aims to prevent corrupt or economically challenged individuals from taking control of a football club.
BeIN Sports and Amnesty International are two of several organisations to have written to the Premier League to challenge the potential takeover, citing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record or piracy as an area for concern.
However, Douglas is clearly confident there’ll be no issues on either front.
The “fit and proper person” test is an economic hurdle that someone must pass. For example, if a person doesn’t have the funds behind them, or is currently filing for bankruptcy, they will fail the test.
Likewise, if somebody has previously been involved at a club that has faced administration, this would be seen as a major red flag. Owning another club altogether rules a person out too.
Given the Saudi-backed consortium is full of world renowned businessmen (the chairman of the biggest oil company in the world, governor of the PIF and the Reuben brothers; the second wealthiest family in Britain) and a businesswoman who brokered a big takeover at Man City, I feel like we’re in safe hands here!