Mike Ashley has called upon the Saudi-backed consortium to comply with the Premier League’s wishes to help revive the failed takeover, according to The Chronicle.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters finally broke his silence yesterday by penning a letter to Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, where he laid the blame solely at the Saudi PIF’s door and defended the under-fire Owners and Directors test.
In the letter he highlighted the key stumbling block as the Saudis refusing to confirm who would be in charge of the club and to provide clarity between the PIF and the Saudi state itself – something that Staveley noted was an issue they believe they’d adressed in her Athletic interview a fortnight ago.
Now, Ashley is urging the consortium to get their act together and answer the questions that the Premier League have issued them. It does seem a pretty straight-forward thing to do, right? Perhaps it’s quite telling that they couldn’t and chose to withdraw, or are they just fed up of jumping through unnecessary hoops for the Premiere League?
The ball is firmly placed back in the consortium’s court, as there is nothing more we, the fans can do, and the Premier League have come out and told them what needs to be done.
Staveley and the Reubens obviously remain interested in the deal, as they have issued statements saying exactly that and have been vocal to the fans since the deal broke down.
However, the biggest players in the deal – the Saudi PIF – have not said a word since their original statement on the day they withdrew their interest, and any suggestion that they remain keen to buy NUFC feels like unconfirmed hearsay from journalists.
We need clarity now, but this time from the buying side itself. From Masters’ letter yesterday, the problem that delayed and ultimately stopped this deal from happening is one the Saudis must now address, one way or another.